Mr. Franck Viault (Head of Cooperation), Ms. Marja Daffern (Deputy Head of Finance, Contracts and Audit) and Mr. Giovanni Serritella (Programme Manager for Environment, Climate change and FLEGT-VPA) of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN visited the base camp of the Elephant Patrol Unit (EPU), which is managed and operated by LIF, at Aras Napal on Thursday, 16 April 2015.
They were accompanied by Dr. Jamal M. Gawi (Chairperson of LIF Board of Directors), Dr. Syahrul (Chairperson of the LIF Executive Committee) and Ms. Cut Dian (Person-in-charge of the EPU, environmental education and community development projects in Aras Napal). The purpose of this visit was to get to know a young elephant by the name of Aras, whose mother is part of the EPU team. The EU officers are keenly interested in naming Aras as their mascotte and interacted directly with Aras, his mahout and three other elephants (Aini, Tanti and Dion). They also had an elephant ride around Aras Napal.
The management of Aras Napal or Area 242 by LIF is part of a cooperation between LIF and the North Sumatran Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) as the owner of this site. The patrols conducted by the EPU into GLNP area are also made possible by this cooperation between LIF and BBTNGL.
The guests from EU plan to return to Aras Napal in the future to enjoy the natural beauty here. They are pleased with the development and sustainability of the EPU at Aras Napal. This EPU was established in 1999 with funds from EU through the Leuser Development Programme (1998-2004) implemented by LIF. The management and operation of the EPU was later funded by MDF-World Bank through the Aceh Forest and Environment Project (AFEP) and later continued by ExxonMobil Oil Indonesia. The EU guests also expressed interest in other activities conducted by LIF in Aras Napal, which innclude environmental education, eco club jamboree and the establishment of community groups and women’s groups. It is our hope that LIF will be able to continue to develop Aras Napal, conduct patrols against illegal activities like poaching, encroachment and illegal logging and conserve the area with support from additional donors.
Elephant ride around Aras Napal
Cut Dian on behalf of LIF presents a souvenir to Mr. Frank Viault from EU Delegation to Indonesia
Members of EU Delegation to Indonesia and LIF team at Aras Napal
Getting to know Aras, the young elephant born at Aras Napal