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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Protection sought for Leuser ecosystem, Sumatran orangutans

  • Hasyim Widhiarto
    Hasyim Widhiarto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, December 9, 2016 | 12:51 pm
Protection sought for Leuser ecosystem, Sumatran orangutans Rare view: An Orangutan sits in a tree in the forests of Sumatra. (Shutterstock/File)

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.