Kebakaran Hutan dan Perburuan

Forest Fires and Hunting

When every dry season comes, it is also able tobe predicted the routine threat then namely famine. Farmers' incomes are reduced due to the dry season, the quality and quantity of harvests have decreased, and even failed. Therefore, in order to meet the food needs that cannot wait until the rainy season comes, farmers choose to hunt to survive. This is understandable because hunting may have been ingrained in humans. Starting from prehistoric times to modern era, hunting has become a routine activity. The only thing which changed is the pattern, shape and frequency. It can be concluded that a long time ago hunting has been the main way for humans to meet their food needs for survival.

As time goes by, hunting is not more than just looking for animals in the forest but it can fullfill the food needs. And nowadays it has developed into a hobby like fishing whereas national park area also include. According to Sukatmoko, SP. (Coordinator of Data, Monev and Public Relations of Way Kambas National Park) that hunting activities are the main threat in Way Kambas landscape. Although the hunted animals are not the protected ones such as tigers, rhinos and elephants, in fact this activity is still threatening because the method used is by burning the forest. So, in addition to clearing land for plantations, forest fire is also caused by hunting activities.

Hunters will burn the selected plot of land at first, after the land is burned, of course a few moments later grass and plant shoots will grow. This will then attract the prey animals such as wild boars and deer to graze on that area. Animals that graze there will then become target for hunters. This pattern is also confirmed by Syafrizaldi, a conservation activist who has been active in Gunung Leuser National Park, Aceh. "Besides destroying the forest where protected animals live, hunting wild boars and deer will also damage the food chain in the national park ecosystem," that was expressed by him on chat.

So, returning to the Way Kambas landscape, one of the targets of the Tropical Forest Conservation Action for Sumatra (TFCA-S) is the hunter. TFCA-S through its partners has assisted societies who often do activities in the national park area. So far, the assistance efforts in the Way Kambas landscape have been quite successful by declining the society activity or farmers in the landscape. The persuasive approach has been the main way for the Way Kambas National Park Office to deal with hunting and forest fires. "It's not right for us to patrol by carrying backpack in National Park, just invite the community to have coffee together, that's it!" said Sukatmoko by smiling confidently.

With the existancy of farmer assistance efforts and buffering village communities, it is expected their income and economy will increase, so that the farmers are better prepared to face the coming famine without switching their professions from farmers to hunters. Whereas the national park area will be protected from fire threats and the ecosystem in the landscape is maintained properly.