Gopar, a farmer from Marancar, northern Sumatra, knows how important a healthy forest is for plant, animal and human communities. Forests absorb, purify and store water for many landscapes — including his own rice paddies. He says he has noticed changes in the local water supply over the past decade.
Water supplies are equally vital for the region’s threatened wildlife, from the orangutan to the Sumatran tiger and Sumatran rhinoceros. CI helped farmers in Gopar’s village understand the value of the forest to their water supply and created a community conservation agreement (CCA) to sustainably manage local forests. This included discussions of current and future needs as well as environmental conditions such as the potential impacts of climate change. Now the village is taking the CCA to the next level, creating digitized maps that account for valuable water resources. These maps will help inform smart land-use decisions and impact water quality for 3 million people across the region.