The Orangutan Project provides funding support to our local partner, Forest Nature and Environment Aceh (HAkA),who through sheer determination, also managed some major milestones in the field last year despite the fraught political situation. For example, after the groundbreaking Tripa campaign, January 2014 saw the historic legal ruling against palm oil company PT Kallista Alam who were fined almost USD $30 million for the environmental damage they inflicted on Tripa peat swamps – also known as the “orangutan capital of the world”. With your support the team were also able to fund more boots-on-the-ground anti-poaching patrols. These rangers continue to combat poaching of Critically Endangered species like the Sumatran rhino whose last hope of survival is the Leuser Ecosystem. Investigating habitat disturbance, working with local communities, and facilitating law enforcement across the most critical habitats in the Leuser Ecosystem are also core activities.
There is no tomorrow for the Leuser Ecosystem if we don’t act today. Your donation will support the ongoing protection of Leuser.
Read more about the Leuser Ecosystem and the challenges...
A consortium of NGOs has released a report to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre calling for urgent intervention to prevent impending destruction of the globally renowned Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage Site.
The 2.6 million hectare Leuser Ecosystem, located in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra, in Indonesia, is recognised as one of the world’s foremost irreplaceable protected areas by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It contains a large part of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) World Heritage Site within its borders, a site that has been on UNESCO’s “List of World Heritage in Danger’’ since 2011 due to ongoing destruction of its rainforest ecosystem.
Today, a wave of major new industrial projects being fast tracked for development within the Leuser Ecosystem threaten to destroy the integrity of the site, despite the fact that they will violate Indonesian laws and make a mockery of the World Heritage Site listing.
A consortium of NGOs focused on the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem submitted a report on Monday 20th March 2017 to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC) critiquing the Indonesian State Party’s 2017 report to the WHC about the state of conservation of the TRHS. The consortium critique highlights serious omissions and contradictions between the State Party report with regard to realities on the ground in the TRHS.
A Turkish-‐owned company, PT Hitay Panas Energi, has been lobbying the Indonesian government to remove protections from a ‘core zone’ of the World Heritage Site to allow a power plant to be built in the heart of the Leuser Ecosystem. Their request was supported by the outgoing Governor of Aceh province, Zaini Abdullah.
However following last month’s elections, new Aceh Governor-‐elect, Irwandi Yusuf, has stated publicly that he will cancel the Hitay project.
“We strongly welcome the Governor-‐elect’s move.” commented Farwiza Farhan, Chairperson of Forest, Nature and Environment Aceh (HAkA), “But at the same time we are alarmed to know the company is still pushing the national government to overrule this decision by Aceh’s incoming Governor. Hitay is holding closed meetings with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and its various departments, in an attempt to manipulate Indonesia’s laws and enable the project to go ahead, resulting in a number of public protests. We will not sit by and watch as our forests are sold off to foreign owned companies and urge the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to reject any requests to destroy the legally protected Leuser Ecosystem.”
Adding further concern, a number of large hydroelectric dams have also been proposed inside and around the World Heritage Site that would considerably undermine its Outstanding Universal Values. These include plans for mega hydropower projects in the Kluet, Tampur and Jambo Aye water-‐catchments which would severely threaten the integrity of the Leuser Ecosystem.