Rainforest Trust and local partner Yayasan Adudu Nantu International (YANI) are pleased to announce that in April, the site for a new ranger training facility for their Heart of Nantu project was purchased. The more than six acres, which will be known as the Alawahu Community Training Centre, are adjacent to Nantu Wildlife Sanctuary, a 172,294-acre threatened protected area in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
“We have long recognized that having trained rangers — ‘boots on the ground’ — is vital to ensure that our reserves remain permanently protected,” said Rainforest Trust CEO Dr. Paul Salaman. “In addition, this new training facility will provide employment opportunities for the local community.”
The new training site was once pristine lowland forest that was cleared in 1997. The plot now consists of grassland with 78 planted and matured coconut trees. Our local partner will begin reforestation with native trees on certain parts of the site immediately while using the planted coconut trees for building materials for the ranger outpost. In addition to being a training facility, it will also become the focal point for community engagement to include workshops, trainings and cooperative meetings that build local grass-roots appreciation and support for additional protection for the Nantu Forest.
“Such facilities are extremely scarce/non-existent in Sulawesi,” said YANI Executive Director Dr. Lynn Clayton. “Hence, this will be one of the first of its kind here and an extremely valuable tool towards long-term conservation of the globally important Nantu forest ecosystem.”
Once complete, the Heart of Nantu project will expand Nantu Wildlife Sanctuary by 15,266 acres via this small land purchase and an application for Legal Expansion of the sanctuary by 15,260 acres. The proposed protected area is a key access point for illegal loggers, gold-miners and slash-and-burn farmers aiming to encroach into the heart of Nantu. It also comprises of critical habitat for key populations of Sulawesi’s endemic and unique rainforest biodiversity, where 62 percent of its mammal species and approximately 30 percent of its bird species are found nowhere else.
This purchase was made possible by the Conservation Action Fund. All gifts to the Conservation Action Fund are matched through the SAVES Challenge and used 100 percent in support of our programs.