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TitleNon-timber forest products as a source of livelihood diversification for local communities in the Batang Toru Orangutan Conservation Program
AuthorJusupta Tarigan, James M Roshetko, Endri Martini and Andree Ekadinata
PublisherWorld Agroforestry Centre - ICRAF, SEA Regional Office
City of PublicationBogor, Indonesia
Series NumberWorking paper no 118
Number of Pages15
Call NumberWP0139-11
KeywordsSumatran orangutan, Batang Toru, NTFPs, livelihoods, agroforest, land use
Batang Toru, located in the northern part of Sumatran island, is one of the few remaining areas to support populations of the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii). The existence of an orangutan population of 400 in the area was documented through a population and habitat viability assessment (Singleton 2004). Recent studies estimate that the population may be 380 at the current time. Although the Batang Toru orangutan population is smaller, its threat from habitat loss is relatively low (below 2% annually). This low rate of habitat loss is the result of topographic features that limit access and traditional indigenous forest management systems that are sustainable and value healthy environments. Besides orangutan, the Batang Toru forest is also rich in other endemic plant and animal species (for example, Dipterocarpaceae species (Shorea spp., Anisoptera spp., Dipterocarpus spp.) and the Sumatran tiger). Up to the present, the gradient of land-use systems practised by local communities in Batang Toru has been compatible with conservation of the area‘s unique and globally important biodiversity. However, in the future, the expanding human population of Batang Toru may threaten the forest and all of its components if suitable livelihoods are not identified and developed. In that context, we see a number of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) that are produced in Batang Toru forest systems (for example, mixed tree gardens, agroforests and forests) as having the potential to diversify and secure viable livelihood options for the people of Batang Toru.
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