The Programme for Watershed Protection in Aceh phase-I, funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAid) was launched on 13th January 2009 in a ceremony at the Leuser Conservation Centre in Banda Aceh. This NZD 2.4 million project would lay the foundation for watershed protection in Aceh iTengah and Bener Meriah districts and initiate long term reforestation in the area, that constitutes the buffer zone of the Leuser Ecosystem.
Project office in Wih Pesam, Bener Meriah District with Mount Burni Telong in the background
Goal The Programme for Watershed Protection in Aceh, supported by NZAid, strives to improve livelihoods in Aceh through improved watershed protection and management.
- Improvement of agro-forestry practices in upper watershed catchments.
- Afforestation of degraded lands in upper catchments.
- Maintenance of the quality and extent of the existing forest.
- Strengthened local government planning and policy making to provide effective land allocation and resource management.
Objective of Phase One : To create the conditions necessary for the longer-term implementation of water catchment protection and management in Central Aceh.
Some of the activities are shown briefly below:
MEETING ON LAND TENURE ISSUES
A meeting on land tenure issues was facilitated in Takengon, Aceh Tengah District, on 20 January 2011. This meeting was officially opened by Drs. Muhammad Syukri M.Pd (Assistant II for Economic and Development Affairs), representing the Head of the District, and attended by 46 participants including 30 representatives of 10 Villages in Aceh Tengah, officials of the local Development Planning Board (Bappeda), the Land Affairs Office (BPN) and other relevant government agencies. The speakers at this meeting were from the District Plantation and Forestry Department, the District Land Affairs Office, Bappeda, and Syiah Kuala University’s Legal Consultant for Land Affairs.
- The communities jointly and consciously acknowledge the boundaries and function of the forest areas especially the protected forest areas.
- The Watershed Protection Programme conducted by Leuser International Foundation in Aceh Tengah and especially the afforestation and regreening (planting on critical land) activities are done within forest areas (protection forests) as well as outside forest areas (other use areas/cultivation areas).
- In future, planting outside forest areas can be utilized for timber supply while planting within forest areas (especially protection forests) can be utilized for non-timber forest products only in compliance with the existing rules and regulations.
- The relevant agencies should clarify the certainty of the area status in 10 villages in Aceh Tengah where the programme is located, namely in the villages of Ramung Ara, Kuyun and Kuyun Uken (in Celala subdistrict), and the villages of Pepalang, Terang Ulen, Paya Jeget, Kedelah, Ierelop, Pedekok and Wihlah (in Pegasing subdistrict) in the form of data on the size of the forest area and the clarity of the forest area boundary in each of the above villages.
- The certification of community land can only be done for land outside forest and protected areas in accordance with the existing laws and regulations.
Further meetings need to be held to prepare work maps that show area boundaries and the boundaries between villages (10 programme location villages in the two subdistricts of Pegasing and Celala) and the sites of afforestation groups (programme participants) in each village. The work maps concerned must be approved and signed by the Head of Village, the Subdistrict Head, Head of Mukim and representatives from the relevant agencies and related institutions.
|Drs.Muhammad Syukri,M.Pd, the Aceh Tengah District Head’s Assistant for Economic and Development Affairs, representing the Head of District, officially opens the meeting.||Syarifuddin HR,SP (Head of Pegasing subdistrict) signs a joint agreement on the conclusions of the meeting.|
DISBURSEMENT OF MICRO CREDIT TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD ACTIVITIES
Micro credit has already been disbursed to 20 groups with 185 beneficiary members in 11 villages in Aceh Tengah and Bener Meriah districts. The disbursement was done in cooperation with Baitul Qiradh An Nahl, a micro finance institution, based on proposals submitted by members, the verification by a project officer in the field, and the feasibility of the budget proposed.
The 100 group target has already been achieved with a total loan in the amount of IDR 1.8 billion and the coverage of all 20 villages with 863 members as beneficiaries.
|Mariani, a member of Mawar Putih micro credit group of Kuyun Uken village in Aceh Tengah District and recipient of IDR 1,000,000 as micro credit from the project, harvesting chilies.||Semirah, a member of Ayu Ara micro credit group of Nosar Baru village in Bener Meriah District and recipient of IDR 2,565,000 micro credit proudly stands in front of her long onion crop.|
|Almajuraida, a member of Musara Ate micro credit group of Wihlah village in Aceh Tengah District and a recipient of IDR 5,000,000 micro credit to add to her own capital of IDR 1,800,000 looking after her water buffalo||Halimah, a member of Mahbengi micro credit group of Pilar Jaya village in Bener Meriah District and recipient of IDR 1,800,000|
CAPACITY BUILDING OF MICRO CREDIT GROUP MEMBERS
In order to improve gender sensitivity and the influence of women’s groups in the decision making process, training sessions on different themes were held on different dates in January 2011 for micro credit groups receiving loans from the project. Based on requests from members and the result of a need assessment study, the training included materials on crop cultivation techniques, home agro industry, animal husbandry and fishery.
|Instructor Dedi Gunawan S,SP.MM from the Aceh Tengah Agriculture and Food Crop Agency addresses the participants of a training session for micro credit group members at Kuyun Uken village.||Instructor Dedi Gunawan S,SP.MM from the Aceh Tengah Agriculture and Food Crop Agency, explains about pest control for chili crops to the participants of a training session for micro credit group members in a field session at Kuyun Uken village.|
PROMOTE THE IMPROVED CAPACITY OF DISTRICT LEVEL AGENCIES TO SUPPORT AGRO FORESTRY
A two-day training on agroforestry was held in both Aceh Tengah and Bener Meriah districts in January 2011 to enhance the capacity of district level agencies to support agroforestry. The training in each district included class sessions (theory) and field trips (practice).
|Class session of agroforestry training in Bener Meriah District on 20 January 2011||Training participants on a field visit to the Sidodadi Group area in Aceh Tengah.|
TRAINING FOR FARMERS IN AGROFORESTRY TECHNIQUES AND PACKAGE DISTRIBUTION
After potential participants for training from every village had been identified, training on agroforestry techniques was conducted during this reporting period for 17 villages, namely Pilar Jaya, Waq, Sedie Jadi, Hakim Tunggul Naru, Tingkem Bersatu, Tingkem Asli, Panji Mulya I, Panji Mulya II, Nosar Baru, and Gunung Antara villages in Bener Meriah District and Ramong Ara, Kuyun Uken, Kuyun Induk, Pepalang, Wih Lah, Kedelah, and Terang Ulen villages in Aceh Tengah District. 188 farmers took part in this seven-day training programme which included field visit. The balance in the gender of the participants was remarkable with 93 women and 95 men participating.
During the training session, farmers discussed with the instructor about their needs for the improvement of their agroforestry activities. Based on these needs, farmers proposed items to be included in the project’s agroforestry package. Thus, the training on agroforestry was combined with the distribution of agroforestry packages to nucleus farmers on the last day of the training. In all 208 agroforestry packages were distributed to the farmers, 188 packages were distributed during the training session, while the other packages (for farmers from Ierelop and Pedekok trained in a previous period) were distributed in Takengon. Each of the agroforestry package distributed consisted of seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment.
|A training session in progress at the Pegasing Subdistrict Hall||A trainer addresses the participants in a field visit session.|
|Project staff delivering agroforestry packages for farmers from Nosar Baru in Bener Meriah in front of the Bukit Subdistrict Office||Farmers from Nosar Baru and Pilar Jaya Villages in Bener Meriah district loading Agroforestry packages into a truck|
FARMERS TRAINED IN APPROPRIATE AFFORESTATION TECHNIQUES
Contractual agreement for afforestation activities was made with three groups of farmers at Waq village in Bener Meriah District. This activity covered an area of 37.25 ha. With this achievement, to date, the project has reached the 450 ha afforestation area target.
The trees are growing well in most of the afforestation areas. Several groups have proceeded to the maintenance phase.
|Tree condition three months after planting in an area of degraded land at Enangenang by the afforestation group from Kuyun Induk village in Aceh Tengah district||Tree condition ten months after planting in an area of degraded land at Ara Ayu by the Pilar afforestation group.|
Table showing progress of afforestation activities on degraded land