This program was an active initiative under OURF from 2010-2019. In addition to providing education and training to villagers in areas adjacent to Gunung Leuser National Park, the MECU Program provided transport of young trees and supplies and a strategy to plant diverse species in degraded forest areas within Gunung Leuser National Park. The Orangutan Caring Foundation of Indonesia (YPOI) received permission from the Park authorities to conduct tree-planting in regions in and around the national park.
The MECU Team worked with local farmers in villages to reduce conflict with ape populations in adjacent forest habitats. The team's work reduced conflict by enhancing the following agroforestry techniques to improve productivity on existing farm and community forestland:
The MECU Program was a cooperative venture. MECU received initial funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and received long-term funding from The Orangutan Project, the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Shared Earth Foundation, Excelso, and OURF. YPOI also coordinated with other NGOs in the region and with the Forum for Orangutan Conservation in Sumatra (FOKUS). The MECU vehicle was a Ford Ranger 4x4 that began operations in March, 2011. YPOI conducted its fieldwork in various villages in the Bohorok region. In late 2019, the administration of YPOI elected not to continue receiving funding from OURF.
For more information about MECU's achievements and activities, visit the program's latest annual report.