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Jakarta Post

Ministry hopes to protect home of Sumatran orangutans in Aceh

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 2, 2017   /  11:21 am
Ministry hopes to protect home of Sumatran orangutans in Aceh In this file photo from Dec. 31, 2015, Tsunami, an 11-year-old female Sumatran Orangutan, eats fruit during her birthday celebration at the National Zoo Ape Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has completed a strategic environmental assessment of the Tripa Swamp in Aceh, a crucial document needed to protect the home of many native and endangered animals in Sumatra, including Sumatran orangutans.

The document will ensure that any development planning conducted by central and local government must comply with the principles of sustainable development, as stipulated in law No. 23/2014 on regional administration.

“All parties are asked to support the government’s attempts to improve the country’s environment and natural resources. Tripa Swamp is important for orangutans because it’s the only habitat left in Sumatra,” San Afri Awang, the ministry’s planology director general, said on Wednesday.

According to research in 2013, Tripa Swamp is home to 91 types of flora and fauna, 14 of them native to Indonesia and endangered.

(Read also: Three named suspects for feasting on orangutan in Kapuas)

Tripa Swamp is located inside the Leuser Ecosystem Zone (KEL), a UNESCO world heritage site that covers thousands of hectares of protected forest in Aceh and North Sumatra.

Globally recognized as one of the richest expanses of tropical rainforest found anywhere in Southeast Asia, the KEL is also one of Asia's largest carbon sinks.

Despite being a unique and irreplaceable natural wonder, the survival of the KEL is not guaranteed as the Aceh administration failed to list the KEL as a national strategic area in its land use plan issued through a 2013 bylaw on spatial planning. (ary)

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