Tesso Nilo is a lowland forest in the province of Riau, Indonesia, and one of WWF Global 200 Ecoregions. WWF is striving to conserve the Tesso Nilo Forest as an example of what once were the vast stretches of Sumatran lowland forest.
WWF's vision in Tesso Nilo is to connect the forests between the five protected areas of the Tesso Nilo Bukit Tigapuluh (TNBT) Landscape (including a future Tesso Nilo Conservation Area) to provide sufficient habitat for elephants and tigers and thus to be a safe haven also for other threatened and rare species.
WWF tries to prevent the killing of tigers and elephants by reducing their trade and mitigating the conflict between them and humans.
WWF promotes social, environmental, and economic sustainability in the TNBT Landscape through close collaboration with local communities and industries, and with government agencies at all levels.
The Sumatran Elephant is one of the most threatened elephant subspecies in the world. BKSDA and WWF surveys showed there may be about 350 elephants left in Riau Province, and 150-180 of them may live in the TNBT landscape, with 60-80 elephants in Tesso Nilo:
Record-breaking Plant Diversity
The Center for Biodiversity Management has surveyed over 1800 plots in tropical forests around the world. No other survey plot had as many vascular plants as in Tesso Nilo. Indonesia's Institute of Sciences LIPI surveyed forests throughout Sumatra, Tesso Nilo had by far the most species:
The biodiversity surveys in Tesso Nilo showed that few big trees are left. Most of them were cut down by legal and illegal loggers. But the surveys also showed that the offspring of the big old trees were alive and well. The species composition in Tesso Nilo resembles that of a mature forest:
|Once a thick lowland forest that holds high biodiversity, and home for elephants and tigers.||Unfortunately for nature conservation it also has the greatest potential for commercial timber production and plantation.|
|As land clearing is necessary for such commercial uses, trees are being cut down.||and the forests are slashed into sections for large scale industries.|
|Being the easiest area to access, vast portion of lowland forests are converted into plantations.||Some of the areas had lost its forest cover, could we afford to wait until all elephants have lost their home?|
To avoid further losses WWF Indonesia's Asian Rhinos and Elephants Program in Riau works with:
Forest conversion is the single biggest threat to high conservation value forests (HCVF) in Indonesia. WWF is in dialogue with the pulp and paper, and oil palm industries to encourage Best Management Practices. WWF asks both industries to respect the remaining blocks of HCVF and not convert them. WWF also works with its industrial partners to fight forest crime by restricting access to forest blocks, and closing gates to illegal wood deliveries.
WWF supports the land use planning efforts of the Province and Districts of Riau. WWF and the Ministry of Forestry are introducing environmental values like protection of watersheds and wildlife corridors. WWF works with government agencies to fight forest crimes through investigations, anti-poaching patrols, training and legal aid. WWF helps government and communities to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
WWF helped found the Tesso Nilo Community Forum in January 2004. the twenty-one villages in the Tesso Nilo buffer zone will be partners in a co-management scheme for the proposed protected area. Social, environmental, and economic sustainability are the pillars on which this cooperation will be built.