Ecotourism Product Development as Means to Supplant Illegal Logging in Tangkahan area of Leuser National Park, North Sumatra, supported by CEPF
The aim of this project was to build the capacity of local groups in Tangkahan, a village in the buffer zone of Gunung Leuser National Park, and to develop and produce ecotourism products. It was expected that successful ecotourism in Tangkahan would slow illegal logging in this portion of the national park. Using participatory approach, Indecon helped the community to create tourism activities through capacity improvement of best interpreters and interpretative trails development, including signs and information boards.
One significant result from this project is the development of village regulations of ecotourism management, focusing on conservation efforts. Village regulations, as a higher policy at the local level, are a legal tool for LPT (Lembaga Pariwisata Tangkahan/Tangkahan Tourism Board) and villages to enforce the law at the local level.
Other successful results are the signing of an agreement between the National Park authority and LPT about LPT’s authority to manage ecotourism in Tangkahan, and a new policy on entrance fees and benefit distribution. These innovations are a great achievement in the national park management system in Indonesia, as the community now has access and been legally empowered to participate in conservation and utilization of the conservation area. Through the Memorandum of Understanding agreement between the National Park authority and the community, which was facilitated by this project, illegal logging has been halted. The area conserved by the community covers more than 10,000 ha.