Most of the deforestation has occurred around the abandoned PT Teluk Nauli logging road in Lumut and Sibabangun, and near the gold mine in Batang Toru, although all around the forest edges in Central Tapanuli forest is being opened up.
Between 2001 and 2010 close to 3.500 ha of forest was cut down, primarily by immigrants from Nias. This represents an annual forest loss rate of 0.48%.
Much of this encroachment is happening in areas that are actually already allocated as protection forest! In order to halt the rate of illegal encroachment, YEL together with local government agencies, carried out a lengthy boundary socialization programme in 2009-2010. Most community members do not know where forest boundaries are, as they are not demarcated in the field.
All small villages and hamlets near the forest edge, many remote and only to be reached after several hours hiking up the mountain, covering 5 subdistricts in Central Tapanuli were visited and presentations/information given about the forest status, protected wildlife and forest regulation. As part of this programme 100 information panels were placed at strategic locations.
This programme was set-up in order to inspire the local government to enforce their own laws and spatial planning regulations.