The Forest and Wildlife Patrol Unit (ForWPU) is a programme to encourage the active participation of local communities in the conservation and protection efforts, and assist the law enforcement process for forestry related crimes in and around the Leuser Ecosystem. The ForWPU currently has two patrol teams consisting of seven trained rangers tackling not only poaching and hunting issues but also dealing with illegal logging and wildlife trafficking. The ForWPU consists of the National Park Authority’s rangers, local people and OIC’s rangers.
Through this ForWPU project, local people participation is significant as they understand about the forest condition arround them as the part of their environment. Also to impove the local’s awareness towards the conservation of Leuser Ecosystem itself. Most of the local people that join us is also ex-croacher that has deep knowledge about the forest condition. It is a way to change their mind towards the conservation and encourage their sense of belonging to the forest as well.
Together with Gunung Leuser National Park authority, we have trained 130 community and national park rangers to take part in forest patrol using SMART patrol system and patrolled more than 200,000 ha of forest area with more than 300 snares have been removed so far and 20 poachers and wildlife traffickers as well as illegal loggers have been arrested with 17 cases already sent to court for prosecution. It is such a dangerous and hardwork, not to mention the demanding time. Since during each of operation, our rangers have to conduct the patrol once in a month with at least two weeks for each operations. Dancing with the dangers inside of the forest, ForWPU is such a brave team with strong dedication for wildlife protection. A team deserves to call as the guardian of Leuser.