August 2021/Rizqan Fadhillah for JGC
There has been a continual increase in Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in Aceh, Indonesia, over the last five years, and despite the introduction of conservation areas and corridors, the encroachment of economic activity on elephant habitat has persisted. Inevitably, this situation requires a comprehensive and structural analysis to support government efforts to protect and conserve the elephant population in the area, while preserving community livelihoods and fostering sustainable economic development.
In May 2021, Janine Grant Consulting (JGC) in collaboration with Leuser International Foundation (LIF), which focuses its work on environmental conservation and species protection issues in the Leuser ecosystem in particular as well as in Aceh and North Sumatra regions, initiated a Conflict Monitoring Update (CMU) – Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) study in Aceh to identify the root causes of the conflicts, their escalation and better understand the trends through meta-analytics and field surveys and provide candid analysis on the interplay between the current development trajectory and the rise of human-elephant conflict.
The study will provide practical recommendations for local governments to improve their development policy and planning processes through alternative models such as Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and alternative financing such as Public-Private Partnership models that will address the underlying causes of the conflicts.
A research team was deployed to several data collection sites in Pidie and Central Aceh, which have been the site of the most human-elephant conflicts in the past five years. The data collection strategy included interviews with local communities who have been directly affected by the conflicts as well as the representative of local branches of the National Nature Conservation Agency.
The study will be completed in October 2021 with report findings and recommendations presented to local government and disseminated online for wider learning, which we anticipate will play a vital role in minimizing wider human-wildlife conflict in the area and contribute to longer-term sustainable economic development.