Innovative Solutions on World Rhino Day – Saving Rhino’s with Cassava Waste
On World Rhino Day this year, we’re aiming to raise more to protect this magnificent species with a locally driven solution that is protecting the Sumatran Rhino forest habitat through a livelihood development program using local cassava waste.
The 22nd of September marks World Rhino Day. The forests of Indonesia are home to the most critically endangered Rhino species on the planet with fewer than 80 Sumatran and Javan Rhino’s remaining. This means these unique and important species could go extinct in our lifetime and innovative solutions are required to ensure that doesn’t happen.
The Indonesian Rhino Initiative (IRI) has developed a locally driven solution that is protecting the Sumatran Rhino forest habitat through a livelihood development program using local cassava waste. The program has brought together the community surrounding the Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, which is home to approximately 20 Sumatran Rhino and a high priority habitat for many other megafaunas such as Elephants and Tigers.
Most families surrounding the National Park keep livestock to generate income as well as provide food for their families. As such, the demand for livestock feed is high and often results in resources being taken directly from the important national park habitat. IRI identified an opportunity to instead utilise the offcut waste generated from local cassava farms to feed the family livestock, using a specially designed processing machine. The people using the waste and machine have made an agreement to not enter the National Park to take food for their livestock.
The pilot project has been very successful with more than 46 members using the processing machine. IRI hopes to expand the project and reach more communities by developing a central warehouse and buying a larger machine to accommodate use by hundreds of local people. Modest funding is now being sought for this expansion.
“The program has created positive results for community livelihoods, Rhino habitat protection and educating local people about conserving the forest. It is important that we work directly with local people to create innovative solutions to support Sumatran Rhino conservation and can scale these solutions for bigger impact” said Hanif, Executive Director of the IRI.
Rhino populations are predicted to have reduced by 95% over the last two centuries, driven by human impact including poaching, illegal wildlife trade and habitat fragmentation. On World Rhino Day, you can help support the last remaining Rhino populations in Indonesia by donating to the Indonesian Rhino Initiative – https://www.rhinoinitiative.org/
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For media enquiries or more information, contact:
Indonesian Rhino Initiative
Hanif – [email protected]