Forest, Nature and Environment Aceh (HAkA) is a local grass-roots NGO in Aceh on the island of Sumatra. HAkA is fighting to protect the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on earth where orangutans, elephants, rhinos, and tigers still roam together in the wild. Spanning 2.6 million hectares, Leuser's ancient lowland rainforests and carbon-rich peat swamps have immense value on a local and global scale. Millions of local people rely on the ecosystem services Leuser provides like clean water supply and mitigation of natural disasters. Vast quantities of carbon are being safely stored in these forests and peat swamps so preserving the Leuser Ecosystem is also essential for global climate change mitigation. Yet despite being legally protected due to this immense value, Leuser's forests are being burnt to the ground for commodities like palm oil. Wildlife like elephants and tigers are being poached for the sale of their body parts on the international black market while orangutans are brutally captured to become pets. The deforestation is forcing more and more animals out of their refuge into conflict with communities. HAkA is bravely fighting against this destruction. Your support can help them win the battle to save the Leuser Ecosystem.
Farwiza Farhan is leading HAkA in legal action, empowering communities to take back their rights to protect their forests, and mobilising local, national and global campaigns. HAkA's campaigns have helped win a number of victories for Leuser, including Indonesia's supreme court ordering a palm oil company to pay a historic fine of $26 million for illegally clearing the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest. HAkA's work is helping to pave the way for truly sustainable development in Aceh. Farwiza's contributions to community driven conservation were recognised with the 2016 Whitley Award.
Working together with community and local government, Rudi Putra is leading historic restoration work of forest cleared illegally for palm oil in the Leuser Ecosystem. He manages Leuser Conservation Forum's frontline rangers with 15 Wildlife Protection Teams deployed across the Leuser Ecosystem. These rangers spend 15 days per month patrolling the forest to monitor wildlife, intercept poachers and destroy their snares and traps. He also leads teams in forest monitoring, law enforcement operations and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. Rudi won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2014 for his services to conservation.