At this age of climate change, incentives scheme to sustain the forest such as REDD+ and Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) are quite a breakthrough. Everybody is talking about this, from one meeting to another, from one training to another. But does the people really know about it? We got clean air and water…..What else? Well, look around at your garden. Do you plant and get bananas? Does your plant keep flowering?
I brought two of my students to the forest edge of Bukit Barisan Selatan to look at birds and bats. We tried to record all the flying creatures which able to pollinate or disperse seeds present at the forest and agricultural garden adjacent to it. The nectarinivores, frugivores, and the fruit-bats (megachiroptera). Comprising small-holder estates for pepper and coffee, the province of Lampung where the study site located, produces one of the country’s largest robusta coffee. Therefore, settlements and agricultures are around the national park which may threat the integrity and the biodiversity of the park.
We got some good stuff from this research. Of course, there were clear demarcation between forest and agriculture. The forest edge composed of mostly native plants whereas the agricultural garden composed of cultivated plants such edible plants (durian, mango, etc.) as well as coffee, cacao, and Erythrina lithosperma which is used to support pepper plants. There were slightly higher diversity of bats and birds in the gardens but both present in the forest edge and agricultural gardens.
But again, does the local people really know about this stuff? Do they know whether the nectarinivores help their banana plants produce banana? Do they know that the bats help pollinate the durians that they plant and eat. Do you know about it?
So, we talk to the people around the area and these were what we get.
Not many people can identify who pollinate their plants. So, why reaching too high when people still don’t understand what ecosystem service means to them?