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GSK-BB Consortium - Progress Report

Belantara Foundation, together with the GSK-BB Consortium in improving the landscape of Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu (GSK-BB) using a Protection, Community-Based Restoration, and Community Economic Empowerment (through Social Forestry Programs) Approach.

As we enter the 3rd semester period of the programs (social forestry, canal blocking, stingless bee culture, wildlife monitoring towers construction, conflict mitigation groups, and patrol), despite having to face a few technical obstacles, the Giam Siak Kecil Bukti Batu (GSK-BB) Consortium are still trying to carry out the activities under the initial work plan.

In our main action—Protection—we conduct routine patrols and conflict mitigation in areas often passed by Sumatran elephants in 9 intervention villages (Koto Pait Beringin Village, Beringin Village, Tasik Serai Village, Tasik Serai Timur Village, Serai Wangi Village, Melibur Village, Kuala Penaso Village, Pinggir Village, and Semunai Village).

The patrols and human-elephant conflict mitigation are implemented through a collaboration with the village governments, which involves forming an elephant–human conflict mitigation team in each conflict-affected village (consisting of 10 people per village).

We've built three elephant monitoring towers in Koto Pait Beringin Village, Beringin Village, and Tasik Serai Timur Village to support patrol activities carried out by the conflict mitigation team.  The construction of these towers is a form of our eminent intent and has increased community trust in programs carried out in each of the intervention villages.

We've also conducted community livelihood improvement through a community empowerment program of developing the superior product potential in four villages (Tasik Serai Village, East Tasik Serai Village, Beringin Village, and Koto Pait Beringin Village) through stingless bee (lebah kelulut) culture utilizing natural resources.

We've facilitated the Masyarakat Peduli Api (Community Fire Group [MPA]) groups in each village with ten stingless beehives and provided training and practice for cultivation. At present, the MPA group of Tasik Serai Village has produced 330 ml of honey from 3 stingless beehives. The stingless bee business is expected to be an additional income source for the MPA in improving their livelihood and welfare.

For the Agritourism Management and Development Program, the Bunga Raya Agritourism Grand Design Book has been published as a guide for running tours. We have also conducted training in tourism and agritourism management and development, which was attended by tourism awareness groups from five assisted villages (Bungaraya Village, Kemuning Muda Village, Jayapura Village, Buantan Lestari Village, and Tuah Indrapura Village), and was also carried out in 5 additional villages (Dayang Suri Village, Langsat Permai Village, Temusai Village, Suak Merambai Village, and Jatibaru Village). These activities are expected to produce good tourism governance for tourism to be well-run and sustainable.

Together with its partners, Belantara Foundation's future program will be to continue to intervene in helping the Bunga Raya Subdistrict by conducting training and developing the local culinary potential to support existing agritourism. The local government is also making its best efforts in promoting tourism potential to people and parties outside of Bunga Raya Subdistrict and Siak Regency.

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