Law 6/2014 (The Village Law) considerably expands the financial and political resources that villages can use to shape their development. LESTARI recognizes the transformative potential of the law and is utilizing the opportunity to facilitate village medium-term development plans (RPJMDes) that prioritize Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) and forest conservation.
In Lawe Cimanok Village, southern Aceh, LESTARI works with communities, local governments and Forest Management Unit (FMU) to advocate for protecting water catchment zones through conservation of upstream forests. Communities appreciate that forests play a crucial role in regulating the quality and quantity of freshwater resources that they depend on for their daily needs. Hence the new village mission captured in the RPJMDes facilitated by LESTARI clearly stipulates sustainable natural resource management as a means for improved community welfare and development.
To scale up impact, LESTARI applies a clustering approach along sub-watersheds, engaging with neighboring villages that are dependent on the same water catchment area. Utilizing Lawe Cimonak as a pilot initiative, LESTARI will facilitate a total of 26 conservation-oriented RPJMDes in the Leuser Landscape within Year 2 that prioritize the sustainable management of natural resources.