Environmental News: How Sumatra’s Rainforest is Being Cleared for Palm Oil

Critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser ecosystem. Photograph: Paul Hilton

from The Guardian

A palm oil company is continuing to clear forest in a fast-diminishing elephant (and orangutan) habitat in Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem despite being the subject of two reports into illegal deforestation, according to a prominent environmental organization.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) published a study in July accusing plantation owner PT Agra Bumi Niaga (ABN) of growing oil palms on illegally deforested land in the Leuser ecosystem, in Aceh province, northern Sumatra.

This was the second time in six months that the company had been accused by RAN of clearing rainforests in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. The NGO stepped up its focus on ABN’s nearly 2,000 hectare (4,942 acres) concession, which sits within the Leuser ecosystem, after the Aceh government banned forest clearance for palm oil plantations in the area in June 2016.

Since the Guardian reported on the investigation, the remaining forest in ABN’s nearly 2,000 hectare concession has been reduced from 420 hectares to just 54 hectares.

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

Copy edit by the Orangutan Conservancy.

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