Conservation News: New Protected Peat Area Established Where Controversial Palm Oil Company Operated

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edited by OC’s Tom from a press release

Banda Aceh

At a historic ceremony this week in the middle of Sumatra’s Tripa peat swamps,
Mr. Husaini Syamaun, the Head of the Aceh Forestry Department, formally declared a new 1,455 hectare Protected Peat Area in the Tripa peat swamp region of the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia.

The ceremony marked the successful conclusion of an Aceh government program to block 18 illegal canals draining the peat. Mr. Husaini unveiled a signboard marking the official boundary of the new protected area and symbolically planted a tree on one of the recently constructed dams blocking the canals. Husaini confirmed “Aceh’s Government is firmly committed to protecting all peat areas deeper than three meters”.

The event was attended by local government and law enforcement agencies, local community leaders, NGO’s and the press. Community representative, Cut Erlianda, explained, “Local people support the government’s initiative to protect Tripa and hope to be actively involved in its management.”

Over 60,000 trees have already been planted in the newly protected area, with another 120,000 scheduled to be planted over the next month. The area declared as a Protected Peat Swamp was previously awarded illegally to the company PT Kallista Alam, as an oil palm concession area, but in a case that garnered global media attention, a high profile legal challenge against the permit by Acehnese environmental group WALHI Aceh (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) was successful, resulting in Aceh’s Governor formally cancelling the concession in 2012.
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posted by: Tom

 

Conservation News: Watch How a Gadget in Your Pocket Is Helping Save Endangered Orangutans

By  for takepart

Koalisi Peduli Hutan Aceh is a network of indigenous community activists in Aceh province, at the far western end of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Around 4.7 million people live in the Aceh forest, depending on it for clean water, food, and protection from flooding and drought.

KPHA members are using smartphones to crowdsource data on the health of the forest.

In collaboration with a Washington, D.C.– and London-based group called the Environmental Investigation Agency, KPHA developed smartphone apps that let members collect their observations, geotag the information, and transmit it to a website for near real time mapping and display alongside other data, such as the boundaries of protected areas.

This video and excerpt from a news article are courtesy of takepart.com and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom

 

Conservation News: Zoologist’s Mission to Stop Orangutans’ Habitat From Being Ravaged

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by David Rose for The Daily Mail

It is an utterly heart-melting image. A young Sumatran orangutan swings down from his tree to nuzzle and play with a British zoologist who is here to save his life.

Dr Ian Singleton gets a privileged close-up view of how these highly intelligent animals are possessed of such an extraordinarily wide range of emotions, and why they form such close and touching bonds with human beings. As well they might: sharing 97 per cent of humans’ DNA, they are one of our nearest living relatives.

Tragically, though, these bewitching pictures, captured by environmental photographer David Higgs, betray a story that shows humanity at its most rapacious.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in The Mail On Sunday and can be read in tis entirety here.

 

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan News: Sumatran Road Plan Could Spell a Dark Chapter for Ecosystem

photo courtesy of Terry Sunderland CIFOR

photo courtesy of Terry Sunderland CIFOR

By  for Forests News Cifor

Bogor, Indonesia – In at least one way, it’s a place right out of a storybook.

A patch of Indonesian forest is the last ecosystem on Earth where nearly every iconic animal from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” still co-exists.

Unfortunately, there is no storybook ending in sight for the Leuser Ecosystem in steamy, mountainous northern Sumatra.

The current Aceh Spatial Plan—an expansion of the former Ladia Galaska road construction scheme—is slated to slice through highly sensitive areas of the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra’s Aceh and Northern Sumatra provinces.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Forests News and can be read in its entirety here.

 

posted by: Tom