Today, the Tangkahan community no longer relies on illegal activities to receive an income. Instead the Rangers of Tangkahan was formed to establish a new, environmentally-friendly, sustainable livelihood — ecotourism.
The Rangers of Tangkahan have four key roles. They patrol the buffer zone around the Leuser ecosystem, collect data, monitor wildlife, and remove poachers’ snares. Each patrol lasts for 10 days and data is collected on foot and via aerial drone surveys. They also act as guides and interpreters for tourists.
“This is a first for North Sumatra, and inspiring to see the Rangers of Tangkahan passionately want to lead this initiative from a community grassroots level. This adventure will also see the rangers get an income for protecting natural resources, rather than receiving income from damaging practices,” Jess said.