Community Agroforestry, Reforestation and Education (CARE)
This community engagement programme fosters the creation of villages that serve as models of conservation-oriented living. We promote environmental education, awareness, and habitat protection, whilst supporting sustainable development and livelihoods. This programme is targeted on a number of critical communities adjacent to orangutan habitat. In each village a community based work initiative is formed and maintained by the people themselves. Through repeat visits and continued engagement with our environmental education component, strong relationships are formed, high levels of sustainable living infrastructure developed, and ultimately higher standards of action and commitment can be developed in each region. The goal of the CARE is to develop environmental programmes compatible with local needs and then to pass over the management to the communities themselves. Each individual project is managed by the community as a whole, with the goal being for them to become financially self-supporting in an environmentally friendly manner. Thus there is high inherent incentive value for local people to support these initiatives, all of which serves to help conserve orangutans and their forest homes.
Since 2001, more than 1000 farmers in 53 villages around the Leuser Ecosystem have been involved in various educational training programme in order to improve their sustainable agricultural practice and Improved sustainable agricultural practice and more than 10,000 people participated in awareness raising activities.
In addition, in collaboration with Orangutan Republik Foundation (http://www.orangutanrepublik.org/), we are also implementing the Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) scheme to support much-needed study into orangutan ecology and conservation in Sumatra for Indonesian university students. To date, 100 Indonesian students from local universities in North Sumatra and Aceh provinces have been awarded funding. The scholarship covers the full four years of tuition needed for each student, as well as a stipend for orangutan/habitat-related research. Up to date, 65 students have completed their study and have become key members of the conservation movement across Indonesia, and will help inspire others to care for nature and their environment.