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Deforestation for commodity production, including palm oil, pulp & paper, has been rampant in Sumatra, which has lost around 14 million hectares of forest since the 1980s. ABT’s forest concession and Bukit Tigapuluh National Park host some of the last remaining lowland forest on the island, essential for critically endangered species. One of just 16 ecosystem restoration companies in Indonesia, ABT was established to protect the remaining forests from further development and to restore previously deforested areas for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Deforestation thrives in Indonesia because it provides a more commercially attractive proposition than forest preservation. People living in this remote area around ABT’s concession often lack sustainable livelihoods and some turn to deforestation for employment. By developing sustainable NTFPs ABT aims to reduce deforestation and make the local communities better able to cope with the impact of climate change.
ABT addresses climate change by conducting regular security patrols of the concession area to secure forests and lands from local actors involved in deforestation; restoring natural forests in deforested areas through active planting or natural regeneration; developing NTFP businesses involving local people with land rights and commitment to protect forests in ABT; and providing development support to improve their resilience, including education, health services and access to clean water and renewable energy (solar panels). ABT builds their capacity to produce and sell products made from Endemic Edible Commodities found in natural forests, such as honey, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots; and those grown around the villages, such as mango and dragon fruit. Together these actions: reduce emissions through the avoidance of further deforestation; sequester carbon through forest restoration, and support the local communities, including indigenous peoples, to build resilience to climate change
ABT does not yet have a monitoring system to measure the GHG avoided/sequestered. We commissioned a study in 2018 to estimate the amount of CO2e avoided by halting deforestation and restoring forest. However, this study still requires external validation.