The Bukit Barisan Selatan Sustainable Commodities Partnership (‘Kemitraan Komoditas Lestari’ or KEKAL) is an innovative landscape partnership to protect the forests of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) and support farmers' livelihoods across the BBS landscape in southern Sumatra.
Forest conversion for agriculture is a major threat to BBS National Park, which at around 785,000 acres (318,000 hectares) forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides essential ecosystem services and habitat for threatened species, including the Sumatran rhino, elephant, and tiger.
Smallholder coffee farmers in the region tend to have low productivity and profitability, with limited access to extension services, inputs, finance, and markets. Around 64,000 acres (26,000 hectares) of forest were lost within BBS National Park between 2000 and 2015 and it is estimated that 10% of the park is under active coffee cultivation.
More than 26,000 tons of Robusta coffee are produced within the park each year, comprising up to 5% of Indonesia’s annual production volume. This poses a major risk to companies sourcing from the region and not only threatens this important ecosystem but future agricultural productivity and the security of farmer livelihoods.
Sustainable Commodities Partnership Strategies
The partnership is built on collaboration and a recognition that only through working together and by actively supporting farmers in vulnerable areas around the forest frontier can we find a lasting and viable solution to deforestation.
Within BBS National Park, the Sustainable Commodities Partnership is working with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to develop a roadmap to address encroachment and restore priority areas, while continued monitoring and patrols in collaboration with the National Park Authority reduce the risk of future deforestation.
Outside of BBS National Park, WCS, several leading coffee companies, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung and other partners are working to reduce encroachment pressures and improve livelihoods by supporting farmers in the ‘first mile’ of the park buffer zone to transition to deforestation-free Robusta production. This includes support for GAP training and improved farmer organization, as well as through performance-based incentives, such as preferential access to finance and markets. The program is underpinned by a landscape monitoring and farm mapping system, which registers farmers and enables tailored support and incentives, and the verification of deforestation-free production. Government engagement from the subnational to national-level facilitates the enabling conditions for interventions and supports scaling up across the landscape.
Phase One (2019-20) is focused on community engagement and the design and development of incentives and the associated landscape monitoring system.
In Phase One, the Sustainable Commodities Partnership is engaging 2,000 farmers in priority sites in the northern part of the landscape adjacent to degraded and threatened forest areas within BBS National Park. WCS is continuing its strong collaboration with the BBS National Park Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and local government to formulate new approaches and the associated governance frameworks to address deforestation and agricultural encroachment. The partnership will roll out interventions developed and tested during Phase One, scaling up around the park boundary to reduce encroachment pressures and support conservation and livelihoods at the landscape-level.
The Sustainable Commodities Partnership aims to help reduce deforestation by around 49,000 acres (20,000 hectares) compared to business as usual; equivalent to the avoidance of more than 13 million MT of CO2 emissions (2020-2050). The partnership aims to restore the ecological integrity of BBS National Park, securing around 785,000 acres (318,000 hectares) and restoring an additional 6,100 acres (2,500 hectares) of degraded forests, while engaging and supporting the livelihoods of an estimated 20,000 farmers.