Indonesian Forest Protections Under Attack

Written by Gemma Tillack

Topics: Agribusiness

share this story
facebook twitter email stumble upon
Get Forest Alerts

I wish I didn’t have to write this blog post on Earth Day. The rainforest where I saw my first wild orangutan is under threat. I can’t believe it!

There are many reasons to protect the Leuser Protected Ecosystem, a forest area on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Thousands of Indigenous people rely on the forest for their lives and livelihoods, and it is the last place on Earth where endangered species like the Sumatran orangutan and the Sumatran tiger coexist with elephants, rhinos, and Sunbears.

But the government of Aceh, the province in which the Leuser Protected Ecosystem lies, is considering a plan that would remove large regions of forest from the protected area, opening them up to palm oil and pulp plantations, logging, mining, and all of the roads and other infrastructure that come with them. The Indonesian government is now considering the plan, and has the power to reject it.

We need to be making sure that what’s left of the world’s rainforests are protected, not opening them to destructive industries seeking to profit from rainforest destruction. Send Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry Hadi Daryanto an email now calling on them to reject this misguided plan and keep the Leuser Protected Ecosystem protected.

Of course, it’s not just local communities and wildlife that need to be protected from bulldozers and forest fires. Indonesia’s rainforests are a valuable carbon sink—destroying them would make our climate problem that much worse, imperiling the future of everyone on this planet just to enrich a few well-connected businessmen.

Urge the President of Indonesia and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry to protect local communities, endangered species, and the climate now.

2 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jill Redwood says:

    C’mon Aceh – show the rest of the world that forests can be protected as well as the country progressing. We’re watching…

  2. Richard Jonasse says:

    While this deforestration, and deforestration in general, can certainly be pinned on bad actors in specific countries, we need to keep the bullseye on the International Finance Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the IMF (alongside certain US government “aid” organizations and private financial institutions); which are pursuing a “growth at any cost” model; heedless of any concerns other than their corporate profits.

    Beyond, the calamitous global consequences of the IFI policies, people also live their lives in these forests. They need the local resources in order to sustain themselves. Otherwise, they end up in the sprawling cities with no sources of income, which exacerbates the already dire poverty in which many people around the planet live.

    This is thus not only an ecological crisis. It is also a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions.

Trackbacks For This Post

  1. 'Corporate Colonialism' Runs Wild as 'Growth' Bulldozes Forests

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.