As population continues to grow, the need for space and land also continues to grow. Settlements and plantations expand to forest areas, which results in an increase in human-wildlife conflicts. Aceh, especially for settlements and plantations located nearby forests areas, are very prone to human-wildlife conflicts, especially human-elephant conflicts. In 2019, there have been more than 10 cases of human-elephant conflicts, while other human-wildlife conflicts such as tigers happens on a less regular basis. Human elephant conflict often results in big loss for the community, but also for wildlife as on a few occasions there are cases of elephants poisoned and injured/killed by snares.
In the most prone area to human-elephant conflicts, FKL works with local communities to mitigate the impact of the conflict in Aceh Timur. Human-elephant conflicts result in a high monetary loss for the local communities, with settlements and plantations, often their source of income, are damaged. Understanding local communities are very dependent on land-based economy, our team works to ensure local communities can benefit from adopting new practices, such as building eco-barriers, where local communities plant fruits that elephants do not like, such as lemon.
FKL also works with local oil palm companies in Aceh Timur to build 50km long barrier, in the form of 5-metre deep trenches on the border of forest area and oil palm companies. The program hopes to benefit local companies and communities from additional cases of human-elephant conflicts.