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Jakarta Post

Rare species under threat as Leuser park’s forest shrinks

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Wed, July 13 2016   /  07:12 am

A number of endangered species are under threat as the government plans to convert forests in a national park in Sumatra into a geothermal power plant.

The government has announced a plan to turn 18,000 hectares of protected forests in the Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) into productive areas to make room for an investor from Turkey that has expressed interest in tapping into the geothermal potential of the area, which has long been part of the Leuser range, a line of ancient, non-volcanic formations.

The park, with its 800,000 ha of land spanning three provinces in northern Sumatra, is home to seven protected animals including the Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran gibbon (siamang), orangutans and tigers.

Orangutan Information Center director Panut Hadisiswoyo said the government should drop the land conversion plan in Kappi, Gayo Lues, Aceh, because the area was stil...