The global outbreak of pendemic Covid 19 is surely bringing humankind into such hard times. Normally as social beings, we are forced to change our normal life into the new normal that some people would never consider before such as physical distancing, being hygiene freak, and others. However, let’s take a moment to forget this pandemic and we would like to use this momentum of #worldenvironmentday 2020 to learn the amazing story of our restoration site.
Bringing the theme of “Celebrate Biodiversity” this year, it’s a perfect occasion to learn how our restoration team has been successfully bringing the biodiversity back to once a damaged forest. As another restoration site of ours, Bukit Mas restoration site has begun its story by illegal encroachment by local people to be used as citrus plantation. After succeeding in reclaiming the land back by working together with local and Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) authorities, the project officially started in 2015. As one of the most irreplaceable protected area, Leuser ecosystem is globally significant with biodiversity and not to mention humans that rely on its existence.
Adi, one of OIC restoration staff is one of local people, who has been joining OIC from 2008 to the present. Previously, he has been involved in our very first restoration site; Halaban. Moving to the other damaged Leuser forest part, he gives his similar best dedication as well. “By joining this project, I am not only finding an opportunity to support my family but also giving my contribution to undo the damage. I used to work as an illegal logger along time ago, as I don’t have any educational background to allow me to find job, so back then I just did whatever. By working on the project, I am able not only to support my family but also paying back what I did in the past. It’s more than satisfying to see the trees I planted growing even taller than me. Real happiness” he said.
Within 5 years period of the project, Adi and the team have not only succeeded to grow trees but also protect the area and bring back biodiversity. It was started with 30 species on the first stage of the planting, then it grows into double of number varieties now with the natural regeneration. Not to mention that the animal starts to come back on the area as well. As all parts are interconnected, our team has been making significant changes to the once damaged forest into a regenerated forest with biodiversity and a thriving ecosystem. So keep supporting our restoration team to restore more damaged and degraded forest areas inside and outside the Leuser ecosystem area, plant more trees and bring more changes every day. How are you celebrating today?