In addition to providing education and training to villagers in areas adjacent to Gunung Leuser National Park, the MECU Program provides transport of young trees and supplies and a strategy to plant diverse species in degraded forest areas within Gunung Leuser National Park. YPOI (Orangutan Caring Foundation of Indonesia) received permission from the Park authorities to conduct tree-planting in regions in and around the national park.
Additionally, the MECU Team works with local farmers in villages to reduce conflict with ape populations in adjacent forest habitat by enhancing agro-forestry techniques that improve productivity on existing farm and community forestland including the creation of recycling/waste management/composting projects; soil quality enhancement, tree-planting, and developing appropriate permaculture methods.
The MECU is a cooperative venture with initial funding from US Fish and Wildlife and long-term funding by The Orangutan Project, the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Shared Earth Foundation, Excelso, and OURF. YPOI also coordinates with other NGOs in the region and with the Forum for Orangutan Conservation in Sumatra (FOKUS). The MECU vehicle, a Ford Ranger 4x4 began operations in March 2011. YPOI conducts its fieldwork in various villages in the Bohorok region.
MECU9 Team Members from front left: Aisyah (Treasurer/Financial), Shinta Ayu (Staff for Conservation Education program), Juliyanti (Coordinator of Conservation Education program); from back left: Aminullah (Staff of Monitoring and Investigation Unit program), Irfan (Coordinator of Livelihood program), Ali (Coordinator of Restoration Program), Ariyan (Coordinator of Monitoring and Investigation Unit program), Herman (Director YPOI), Havis (driver),Alfi (MECU9 Manager), Roy (Administrative and IT Staff)