The Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) has established five community patrol teams in an effort to safeguard Karo-Langkat block of Leuser Ecosystem from any illegal activities such as illegal logging, poaching, and encroachment. The establishment of these patrol team, consisting of local community members and forest rangers (Polhut), was initiated by implementing basic patrol training programme for all patrol team members. This training was followed by 40 participants who consisted of forest rangers (Polhut) from GLNP and BKSDA North Sumatra and local community members from 4 villages in Langkat district (Halaban village, Sei Musam village, Timbang Lawan, and Telegah) and 2 villages in Karo district (Kuta Gunung and Kuta Rakyat).
After the training, the team will patrol in each of the areas covering TNGL forest in Sei Betung, Tangkahan, Bukit Lawang and Bekancan areas as well as forest areas of Tourism Nature Parks (TWA) of Deleng Lancuk and Lau Debuk-Debuk and forest areas of Bukit Barisan Grand Forest Park (TAHURA) with total patrolled area approximately 112.000 Ha.
This community patrol scheme is in line with the mandate of Law 41 year 1999 concerning the forestry. In the article 48, paragraph 5 of this law, it is stated that “To ensure effective implementation of forest protection, the local community is actively encouraged to take part in the forest protection“.
In late December 2013, one community patrol team has started to conduct first monitoring patrol in Tangkahan area and has removed wildlife snares found in the GLNP forest areas. One bird poacher has also been deterred from entering the forest area and has been warned for legal action. In addition to safeguarding the forests, the patrol team also make records of any wildlife encountered during the patrol operation as part of biodiversity inventory.