Protection sought for Leuser ecosystem, Sumatran orangutans
The Jakarta Post
Coordinated efforts by stakeholders to protect Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem are becoming more crucial to help save the heritage site and its endangered species, a United States-based environmental organization has suggested.
Referring to the newly updated International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species, the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) said Friday that conservation of the Leuser ecosystem would help the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), a critically endangered animal according to the list, to survive.
“The IUCN’s message is clear: Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem must be protected, otherwise the Sumatran orangutans will become extinct,” RAN’s Leuser ecosystem campaigner Chelsea Matthews said in a press release.
The Leuser ecosystem is a UNESCO world heritage site that covers thousands of hectares of protected forest in Aceh and North Sumatra.
In its report, the IUCN said that the illegal spatial land-use plan being implemented by the Aceh provincial administration ignored the Leuser ecosystem’s status as a National Strategic Area, designated for its environmental function.
“Moreover, modelling based on different land-use scenarios and their likely impacts predicts that an additional 4,500 Sumatran orangutans could be lost by 2030 as a direct consequence of this spatial plan and related developments,” it said.
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