PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
Conservation groups are calling on Australian company Prosperity Resources to explain any involvement in a local government plan to strip protection from a vast area of the 2.6 million hectare Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh Province, Sumatra. The Leuser Ecosystem is an area of forest located in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, which is rapidly gaining support as a World Heritage Area. It is one of the richest expanses of tropical rain forest in Southeast Asia and is the last place on earth where Sumatran elephants, rhinos, tigers and orangutans are found together in the wild.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The International conservation community was devastated last week to learn of Julie Bishop’s axing of a 3 million dollar pledge to assist Indonesia with the conservation of one of the most endangered large mammals on earth.
With the global number of Sumatran rhino now believed to be less than 100, this crucial funding was in response to a request for urgent assistance from President Yudoyono. In June 2013, Senator Bob Carr announced that the Australian Government would support Indonesia in their mission to save the rhino from extinction, pledging 3 million over 3 years.
PRESS RELEASE – January 19th, 2014
On 27th December 2013 the Aceh Parliament dismayed local community members, NGOs and scientists around the world by passing a highly controversial new land use plan. If approved by Indonesia’s Central Government later this month, the plan (known locally as Qanun RTRWA) will severely threaten Aceh’s last remaining lowland forests and the life support they provide to millions of Acehnese people.
Currently under review by Indonesia’s Central Government, the spatial plan will open up huge areas of Aceh’s ecologically sensitive forests to mining, timber and plantation concessions.
URGENT FUNDRAISING APPEAL
The Acehnese Government is pushing to finalise the proposed Spatial Plan in the next coming weeks along with and additional NEW draft governor’s regulation, which opens a door for new permits in large critical areas of the Leuser Ecosystem. If approved, this new plan and the new regulation will result in the rapid devastation of most of Aceh’s remaining lowland forests, the last stronghold for the Sumatran orangutan, tiger, rhino and elephant. This also totally undermines the legal status of the world renowned Leuser Ecosystem. What’s more, it will not only seriously impact biodiversity and regional carbon emissions, but also seriously jeopardize the lives and livelihoods of many thousands of Aceh’s 4 million people
Wildlife Asia is seeking support to avert large-scale forest destruction and help Aceh transition to a more sustainable development path.
We are requesting your urgent assistance. You can help by donating to the Wildlife Asia Operation Aceh Fund. For more information;
WA OPERATION ACEH
For a comprehensive summary of the current situation you can view the following webinar with Ian Singleton from Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaeoCrMe4Pg&feature=youtu.be
Donate TODAY at http://www.givenow.com.au/wildlifeasia
This is one of the most important environmental issues of our time. Please act now for a better future.
Current petition can be signed here http://www.change.org/petitions/protect-the-leuser-ecosystem-declare-it-a-world-heritage
Wildlife Asia Director, Clare Campbell was last week awarded James Cook University Science and Engineering Faculty Alumni of the Year for 2013.