Forest fires, shifting cultivation and expansion of commercial plantation areas pose serious risks to the habitats of critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. The east area bordering the national park experienced massive deforestation between 2001 and 2021. The current land cover at the project site consists of primary and secondary dry land forest, shrubs, and open land. Based on KLHK data, degradation and deforestation in the last 10 years at the district level of South Aceh is 2,042.28 ha or around 0.42% while at the village forest level it is 5.91 ha or around 0.04%.
With current land use practices, including the clearing of forests for small-scale agriculture and the threat of poaching, it is likely that without the project these species will continue to be threatened and populations decline, and human-wildlife conflict will continue.
BITRA project provides Rimba Collective a claimable area of 13,594 hectares located in one village forest in South Aceh.
The Village Forest (Hutan Desa) is a buffer zone for Gunung Leuser National Park which is designated as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) by UNESCO, and holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species.
The village forests suffer deforestation threats due to forest land fire, unsustainable agriculture, and animal hunting, while the main threats to the area are illegal logging and human-animal conflict.
One of the main benefits of the project is protecting the Sumatran tigers which is a Critically Endangered Species. and reducing the human-wildlife conflict by collaboration with the community, local government, and other organizations.
As a buffer zone of Leuser National Park, the deforestation rate of the area is low, however, this project will bring a high potential Biodiversity benefit for Rimba Collective portfolio. The project will put more focus on Biodiversity aspects and could potentially deliver Biodiversity credits in the future.
The Rimba Collective is working with BITRA Indonesia through a community-based forest management approach to preserve and restore the forest. The project aims to provide effective forest management, forest protection, support for restoration and conservation, biodiversity monitoring, and support for sustainable livelihoods. In addition to the livelihood development of the community, the project will support activities related to education, and women empowerment for the local community. The project will bring high potential Biodiversity benefits for Rimba Collective, and could potentially deliver Biodiversity credits in the future.