Mobile Education and Conservation Unit Program

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. 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 also works with local farmers in villages to reduce conflict with ape populations in adjacent forest habitat. The team's work reduces conflict by enhancing the following agroforestry techniques to improve productivity on existing farm and community forestland:

  • Creating recycling, waste management, and composting projects
  • Enhancing soil quality
  • Planting trees
  • Developing appropriate permaculture methods 

The MECU Program is a cooperative venture. MECU received initial funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and has received long-term funding from 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 is a Ford Ranger 4x4 that began operations in March,  2011. YPOI conducts its fieldwork in various villages in the Bohorok region.  


For more information about MECU's achievements and activities, visit the program's latest annual report.