Goats, ducks and orangutansHow can goats and ducks help orangutan conservation efforts?
In addition to planting fruit trees in the buffer zone around Gunung Leuser National Park, Darma and the Nature for Change team are also helping to create income streams for farmers by encouraging goat and duck farming. Darma has donated the land behind his house so that members of the local community can keep their goats and ducks there and eventually benefit from the income they get from selling milk and eggs.
But what does this have to do with orangutan conservation?
When farmers have just one or two food crops or agricultural products, their income is at higher risk. Producing a wider range of crops or products – known as agricultural diversification – provides farmers with a more stable income and better living standards, and enables sustainable use of natural resources.
In the context of orangutan conservation, providing farmers around the Leuser buffer zone with a diverse range of income streams means they are less likely to need to fall back on logging or on expanding their fields into the forest. It also reduces the risk of conflict with orangutans, as their income will take less of a hit if orangutans and other animals eat some of their fruit crops.
As the goats and ducks settle in to their new home, Nature for Change’s tree planting activities are also going brilliantly – the team plants around 300 trees on an average day! All the trees are planted in bamboo polybags – an alternative to plastic polybags which reduces plastic waste and, because the bamboo is breathable, prevents the seedlings rotting or overheating as well.