Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program
Program Konservasi Harimau Sumatera (PKHS)
The mission of the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program is to assist Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) in securing a future for Sumatran tigers in Indonesia.
The programme is a collaborative conservation effort between the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) and the Sumatran Tiger Trust (UK) . As of 21st January 2002 the conservation partnership Memorandum of Understanding was sanctioned at the parliamentary level through the State Secretariat and is valid for a five-year period (2002-2007), followed by automatic extension for a further five years. Local project agreements have been signed between the partners to the program at a provincial level with chiefs of Way Kambas and Bukit Tigapuluh National Parks (see map insert) in Sumatra and national and local PHKA counterpart staff has been designated to the projects. Field activities are underway in both areas, while other future projects and regional activities continue to be developed with representatives of parks, government conservation agencies, local government and local NGOs. Several other national level initiatives also continue with the support of our programme manager.
The Sumatran Tiger Trust is the sole core funding body of the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Programme.
Our current program represents a natural progression of earlier field efforts in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung Province of Sumatra, where the basic conservation needs of wild Sumatran tigers were established over five years (1995-1999). During this time groundbreaking methods to study these elusive animals were developed, simple but cutting-edge technologies were applied to unravel their secrets, and many of the first photographs of Sumatra's rarest animals were obtained. The status of tigers, their prey, habitat needs, and threats were all established with a high degree of scientific certainty. Trial projects examining the basic management needs, and developing strategies, for anti-poaching, intelligence networking and local law enforcement were also implemented.
Finally, a highly qualified multidisciplinary team was recruited and trained, and these valuable human resource assets remain with the program to this day. As a pilot phase the Way Kambas project was undoubtedly successful, providing a testing-ground for tiger conservation management techniques, many of which have since been replicated across Sumatra. However, the national impact of such small-scale, field-based activities was always going to be limited. This became particularly obvious following the economic and social chaos of the 1998 Asian Crisis, when Indonesia was thrown into political turmoil. Since the return of national stability, many changes have occurred in Indonesia, autonomy of the provinces, the greater role of civil society groups and the undeniable importance of local stakeholders, has altered the context within which conservation must be achieved. For the first time perhaps, conservation of wildlife, habitat and natural resources has become a national passion.
The energy and enthusiasm of numerous grass-root level NGOs, organizations and everyday citizens is now providing some hope that conservation can become a priority on the national agenda. It is within this framework that the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program must now place itself. The strengths and potential for the program to be effective will be measured by the breadth and depth of our alliances, partnerships and collaborations. This strategic repositioning is allowing the program to expand its reach outside of the field, and into the critical areas of national law enforcement, political advocacy and public awareness. In essence, the program is now transforming into a multi-disciplinary movement where national-level activities promote, and are in turn supported by, provincial and park-based field projects.