Ecosystem Impact Foundation works to keep the wild landscapes of Bangkaru and Simeulue Islands, Aceh, Indonesia, wild through a sustainability approach where business, people and nature thrive alongside each other.
Our approach is both scientific and community driven. We see no distinction between what is classed as an environmental issue, and what would be classed as a social issue, as from a holistic interdisciplinary perspective everything is connected. We believe that it is only by taking into account social, environmental and political factors, that real lasting change be made.
Part of the Barusan island chain off the coast of Sumatra, Bangkaru and Simeulue Islands lay just 350 kilometres north of the equator. The region’s nature consists of highly biodiverse tropical rainforest and coral reefs. These islands are home to some of the world’s most endangered turtle and bird species. Our mission is to save these species from the brink of extinction and develop opportunities for local community’s benefit from involvement.
EcosystemImpact works closely with Simeulue based partner āluān – an organic eco-coconut oil company – and Mahi-Mahi Resort, to develop landscape level conservation and business solutions. Both Mahi-Mahi and āluān have been set up to financially support EcosystemImpact, with both being partly financed through Green Impact Bonds that will provide annual ‘interest’ payments to EcosystemImpact.
ASAP Species That We Work On
What We Do
The Bangkaru Ranger Programme:
With 319 sq. km of uninhabited, intact primary forest, Bangkaru is one of the largest remaining primary-rainforest islands in Indonesia.
Bangkaru is internationally recognised as being one of the last remaining islands to have wild Nias hill myna and silvery pigeon populations, as well as the largest green turtle nesting site in Western Indonesia, along with being an important nesting site for the North-eastern Indian Ocean sub-population of leatherback sea turtles. Although hawksbill turtles do not nest on Bangkaru, they frequent the seas and reefs along Bangkaru’s shoreline.
In order to tackle poaching, EcosystemImpact supports BKSDA (the national wildlife agency) with a ranger post on Bangkaru. EcosystemImpact ranger are from neighbouring islands and are employed on a full-time basis, with rotating shifts on the island. The rangers patrol Bangkaru’s beaches and forest every morning and night, intercepting and deterring any poaching activity. Bangkaru’s rangers also collect crucial data on the number, location, type of bird and turtle species.
Since EcosystemImpact’s involvement in the Bangkaru Ranger Programme in 2016, there have been no recorded poaching events.
“25 poachers were on the shore and 2 people chased us with a machete. We almost retreated but decided to stand our ground, also holding a machete. They saw that their machetes were smaller than ours, and they retreated. the next day when we returned to the beach, all of the turtle eggs were gone. not one was left on the beach. We had this experience every day for 4 years.”
— Lead Ranger Uzhar
There is currently no environmental education on Simeulue or Bangkaru’s surrounding islands. As part of its environmental education initiative, EcosystemImpact runs a Nature School (Sekolah Alam), which teaches a small group of local children around basic English whilst concentrating on conservation themes. This has enabled us to understand baseline environmental education levels and to pilot the most effective ways of engaging young people.
Where We Work
Bangkaru and Simeulue Islands, Aceh, Indonesia.
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Featured image: Paul Hilton