The Leuser Landscape in northern Sumatra comprises the focal districts of Aceh Selatan, Gayo Lues, and Aceh Tenggara, and includes the Aceh’ portion of Leuser National Park as well as Rawa Singkil Nature Reserve.
The Leuser value landscape is largely defined by Leuser National Park and contains large tracts of lowland and montane forests that are home to Sumatran mega diversity – tiger, elephant, rhino, and 375,000 ha of prime orangutan habitat. Forested buffer zones surrounding the national park are delineated by watersheds and are currently gazetted as protection as well as production forests.
The Rawa Singkil Nature Reserve in its entirety is included in the value land- scape as well as forested areas connecting the reserve to the national park (that also encompasses the Trumon corridor). Gayo Lues has significant areas of pine forests that are to be managed commercially in the near future.These pine forests and forested uplands in northern Gayo Lues are also included in the value landscape.
LESTARI’s primary focus in the Leuser Landscape is the conservation of biodiversity through securing forest habitat from conversion and involves collaborative management of both Leuser National Park and Rawa Singkil Nature Reserve. LESTARI leads efforts to engage relevant stakeholders (government, communities, universities, NGOs, and private sector) to enhance monitoring and enforcement, establish co-management agreements, and reduce pressures for encroachment.
Green Enterprise Development in the Leuser Landscape focuses on supporting new and existing enterprises that benefit conservation as well as local communities living within or adjacent to conservation forests. This will involve supporting small businesses based on the sustainable use of crops such as nutmeg and cacao that directly contribute to improved livelihoods. LESTARI also focuses on scaling-up payment for environmental services (PES) as a mechanism to support sustainable financing for conservation in the Leuser Landscape. Emerging PES schemes include support for the Trumon Corridor Reduced Deforestation Project and a watershed protection project in Gayo Lues designed under IFACS, which is still congruent with LESTARI’s geographic and technical scope. The projects will reduce forest loss, incidence of fire, and begin some forest restoration activities.