Involving local communities in protecting wildlife and the vulnerable habitats on which they depend is an essential aspect of much of our work.
In 2021 the Aspinall Foundation Indonesia team initiated a community ranger project (MMP) for Mt. Tilu Nature Reserve to support West Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA), the authority for management of the nature reserve to strengthen the protection of Mt. Tilu Forest and its biodiversity. This is the first Community Ranger Programme in the southern forest landscape of West Java and is recognised by the Directorate General Conservation of Natural Resources and Its Ecosystem, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia.
Community Rangers on patrol at Mount Tilu Nature Reserve
The response from the local communities was great and the first 30 community rangers were soon enrolled. However, at this early stage, the Programme is yet to be developed to its full potential. The missing element has been the training required to provide the new rangers with the appropriate knowledge, skills, physical performance, and equipment.
Thanks to funding support provided by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), we are now able to initiate a capacity development project that fulfils this urgent need for the Programme which can then be expanded to other sites, maximising this opportunity to engage communities with protecting crucial habitats and endangered wildlife, ensuring the sustainability of the forest landscape role for local people.
This important project has already received significant local interest as can be seen in the video of an opening event for the Community Personnel Capacity Building Programme for the rangers of the Mount Tilu Nature Reserve by the Head of West Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency. The programme will be implemented over the next year with training activities and field activities related to the topic of conservation and sustainability of Mount Tilu's landscape and natural resources.