Buffer zone encroachment is a curse for almost all National Parks in the 21st century.
Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumatra suffers a rapidly shrinking buffer zone for two main reasons. Encroachment by illegal settlers, and on the landscape scale by habitat destruction due to intensive conversion of former timber forest in favour of pulp and paper wood, and to a smaller extent palm oil plantations.
Old logging roads open up access for illegal loggers and poachers into the heart of the National Park. Poachers and loggers intensively operate along the boundaries of Bukit Tigapuluh and penetrate into the park along river systems or along paths, used by the native inhabitants.
To efficiently and effectively protect the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape and its unique mega fauna (including the Sumatran tiger, Asian elephant, Sumatran orangutan, tapir and Malayan sun bear), the already existing community based patrol system needs to be maintained and upgraded.
One of the crucial steps to develop excellent protection services is the set-up of a regular training curriculum to increase training capacity for the existing Wildlife Protection Unit’s (WPUs) and to train and retrain a larger number of WPU teams.
The training courses on offer will include:
- advanced orientation and navigation in the field
- survival in the field
- communication in the field
- first aid and evacuation
- surveillance and search operations
- arrest procedures
- briefing/debriefing and report writing,
- crime scene protocols
- wildlife monitoring including camera trapping.