Conservation Issues With Communities in Protected Forests. ISCP has conducted research into the impacts of communities in protected forest areas. The research supports findings in conservation areas in other parts of the world where communities living inside protected forests have been a cause of forest quality degradation. In Sibolangit districts case, there is widespread hunting of songbirds and high value species for the illegal pet trade, including slow lorises and pangolins and etc.
Turning Hunters into Farmers. Using knowledge gathered and use status as a Karonese tribe member which is the predominant tribe in Sibolangit, ISCP has embarked on a program to convert hunters into farmers. Foreign funding has enabled the creation of a two hectare horticulture farm with the plantings of five hundred sugar palm ( arenga pinnata ) and asam gelugur( garcinia atroviridis ) which were identified as high demand crops. To enable quicker cash incomes as both the sugar palm and asam gelugur take a few years before harvest, ginger has been planted in between the tree seedlings.
Creating Conservation Awareness in Local Communities. With the assistance of members of the farmer’s cooperative, ISCP is embarking on a program to inform local villagers of the importance of conservation, in particular, which wildlife species are protected by law. Since ISCP community outreach program started in June 2016, ISCP has started to receive private reports of illegal wildlife activities. These reports have resulted in the voluntary surrender of two slow lorises and one pangolin,song birds and many more will coming soon.
The expected outcomes of ISCP activities are:
-Awareness in of the ilegal consequences of hunting or killing of protected wildlife.
-Alternative livelihoods that can be gained from better farming practices.
-Improved conservation of the protected forests in Sibolangit district as pet owners of endangered wildlife surrender their pets and hunters turn to farming as a livelihood.