by Jewel Topsfield and Karuni Rompies for The Sydney Morning Herald
Activists warn the last place on Earth where elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses and orangutans coexist in the wild could be destroyed by mining and palm oil plantations after a Jakarta court ruled against their bid to protect a Sumatran rain forest.
A group of citizens from the Sumatran province of Aceh launched a class action against the Aceh government’s land use plan, which they say legalizes roads through the world-renowned Leuser Ecosystem and opens the area up for further development.
On Tuesday the Central Jakarta District Court rejected the lawsuit, which claimed the Aceh government and Ministry of Home Affairs violated the law by not mentioning the nationally-protected Leuser Ecosystem in their land use plan.
Lawyers for the Aceh Citizen Lawsuit Movement, known as GeRAM, immediately said they would appeal. “The verdict has the potential to erase Indonesia’s home to Sumatran tigers, orangutan, elephants, honey bears etc.,” said Harli Muin.
This edited excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald online and can be read in its entirety here.