Deforestation is clearing Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths half the size of England are lost each year. The world’s rainforests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Growers cut forest to extend their plantations, farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Often, small farmers will clear a few acres by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as slash and burn agriculture. Not all deforestation is intentional. Some is caused by a combination of human and natural factors like wildfires and subsequent overgrazing, which may prevent the growth of young trees.
Through TFT’s work on supply chains, deforestation has been observed across a critical landscape for biodiversity and peat; the area surrounding the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve. This landscape overlaps with the districts of Aceh Singkil, Aceh Selatan and Kota Sabulusalam. It is suspected that this clearance is for growing oil palm, but it’s not possible to confirm this remotely.
The aim of this monitoring project is to identify the causes of this deforestation. Is it due to industrial plantations? Political influencers? Smallholders? Villagers? What crop are they planting? Palm, rubber, pulp and paper or another type of production? Is there a company behind the deforestation? Who are they selling their products to, or who do they intend to sell their products to?
Who is carrying out the deforestation? Where are these people from? What are their future plans for the cleared areas? What are their political influencers? What would they need to stop clearing?
This Kumacaya monitoring project, to be carried out by independent civil society, has for objective to answer the following questions:
Who is clearing natural forests? Where, how and why are they clearing natural forests? Under what circumstances and incentives? g. logging companies, plantation corporations, smallholders, hand tools, tractors, for oil palm plantation and profit, to grow food for family
What might happen in the future? Are there plans for development, what are they and by whom? g. sale of logs, produce oil palm for global brand, property development, sales to mills around?
Is there specific wildlife spieces impacted by this deforestation (Empirical evidence will be located and collected on habitat destruction and the indicators of detrimental effects on endangered species) – how does this affect as well the communities around the are? g. Elephant, Oragoutans, Conflict between villagers and elephants… loss of agricultural production due to destruction done by wildlife?
Project proposals that address these questions will be considered.
This Kumacaya monitoring project will take place in the area surrounding the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve and the Kluet peat dome (see map below).
It is anticipated that in order to ensure adequate coverage, Kumacaya will contract several civil society experts and organisations to conduct portions of the monitoring work.
Deforestation impact on wildlife