Wildlife Asia Director Awarded for Commitment to Conservation of Indonesia’s Wildlife

Wildlife Asia Director, Clare Campbell was last week awarded James Cook University Science and Engineering Faculty Alumni of the Year for 2013.

Ms Campbell graduated from JCU in 1998 with a BSc and went on to establish a career working for the conservation of wildlife in South East Asia.

As well as undertaking the role of Director of Wildlife Asia, Ms Campbell is also Director of Perth based non-profit organisations, the Silvery Gibbon Project and the Asian Rhino Project.

Ms Campbell has worked at Perth Zoo since 2000 as the Supervisor of Primates where her lifelong passion for gibbons evolved.  That passion has transpired into an absolute commitment to the conservation of these small apes and other endangered wildlife in South East Asia.

In the past 10 years, Ms Campbell has made over 20 trips to Indonesia where she has worked tirelessly with local organisations to develop conservation strategies.  She has also provided funding support and advice for in situ programs and facilitated cooperation and capacity building amongst local conservation teams.

Ms Campbell stated ‘ I am honoured to be recognised by James Cook University and I hope that I can inspire current and future students to really use their education to make a difference. There is so much work to be done in the conservation field and we need committed and passionate people to dedicate their careers to preserving wildlife and habitat both here in Australia and overseas’.

See Townsville Bulletin article here

http://readnow.isentia.com/Temp/7990029/205497941.pdf

Javan Gibbon Release

On June 15, a pair of Javan gibbons from the Javan Gibbon Centre will be released back into the wild. You can follow their progress on facebook and twitter. Thanks to the hardworking staff at JGC and for the generous donors to Silvery Gibbon Project and Wildlife Asia for making it possible!

Watch our video here!

Javan Gibbon Release

Leo DiCaprio lends his voice to Aceh campaign

leoWith the Avaaz petition nearing 1.3 million signatures, Leo DiCaprio this week urged supporters to continue to support the campaign to protect Aceh’s forests and the Critically Endangered populations of Orangutans, Tigers, Rhinos and other wildlife. Wildlife Asia desperately needs funds to support our partners in Indonesia to lobby the Indonesian government and ensure this devastating proposal is not implemented. If you can help please visit www.givenow.com.au/wildlifeasia and remember that donations are tax deductible.

Operation Aceh- Facebook Campaign

Mass Support Needed- Donate Now at http://www.givenow.com.au/wildlifeasia

Mass Support Needed- Donate Now at http://www.givenow.com.au/wildlifeasia

Mass support NEEDED or destruction will be GRANTED

1.2 MILLION HECTARES of protected virgin rainforest could soon be gone. We need your help, NOW!!
If foreign investors can drive government policy, then so too can the people who genuinely care about the future for Indonesia’s people and wildlife.
Destruction of this primary rainforest could ultimately mean extinction for the last remaining populations of Sumatran rhino and Sumatran orangutan. The world renowned Leuser ecosystem is the ONLY remaining forest to contain all of these species along with elephants, tigers, sunbears, gibbons, tapirs and leopards. It symbolises the enormous biodiversity teetering on a knife edge in Indonesia.
Wildlife Asia represents the wildlife, the people of Indonesia and the people of Australia. Forest destruction of this magnitude eventually impacts upon us all. We won’t compromise, the planet has been compromised enough.
Please like our Operation Aceh photos and share as widely as possible. International pressure can prevent this environmental catastrophe.
DONATE HERE AND SAVE A LIFE http://www.givenow.com.au/wildlifeasia
For more background information on this issue, please read article below

Operation Aceh – Wildlife Asia’s mission to save critical rainforest facing imminent threat of destruction

After conservationists seemingly won a small victory in 2012 to protect the Tripa peat forest in Aceh, a new, far more serious threat to Indonesia’s forests and wildlife has emerged.

The Indonesian Government appears poised to approve a proposal to free up 1.2 million hectares of protected virgin rainforest on Sumatra island for commercial exploitation.

Conversion of this primary rainforest could ultimately mean extinction for the last remaining populations of Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran rhino and elephant.  The world renowned Leuser ecosystem is the only remaining forest to contain all of these species along with tigers, sunbears, gibbons, tapirs and leopards. It symbolises the enormous biodiversity teetering on a knife edge in Indonesia.

In a frightening development last week, Canadian mining company East Asia Minerals, said the plan to clear 1.2 million hectares was “positive news” for mining in the area.

An Indonesian forestry ministry spokesman says the government aims to approve the plan “in up to a month”.

In a strangely bold admission, East Asia Minerals explained how it is “working closely with Government officials in the country and has representatives on the ground in Aceh to obtain reclassification of the forestry zone from “protected forest” to a “production forest”.

Their statement suggests that they are effectively driving public policy, namely spatial planning, in Aceh.

It is imperative that spatial planning  be based on sound scientific analysis of land suitability and environmental risks and it is outrageous to consider that such decisions could be driven by foreign companies with considerable financial incentive and complete disregard for the future wellbeing of local communities and a sustainable economy for Aceh.

Illegal logging and mining is already occurring in these concessions with devastating consequences for both the forest and the incredible wildlife it supports.  The proposed changes to the spatial plan would also approve an extensive new network of roads, resulting in even further forest destruction and encroachment. In an area already prone to natural disasters, this is an incredibly dangerous decision and one which will invariably result in an increased loss of lives and huge economic losses to local communities.

Australian based conservation organisation, Wildlife Asia spokesperson, Clare Campbell said “Approval of the plan to free up this enormous area of forest for mining, paper and palm oil plantations is an environmental disaster of catastrophic proportions. Not only is this area the last chance for several species already in serious trouble but it also contains critical carbon sinks and forests that are essential for food security, regulating water flow and mitigating climate change. This will be devastating for the future of communities living in these areas as well as the broader region”.

Ms Campbell stated that “We have to stand strong against decisions that lack foresight. Wildlife Asia represents the wildlife, the people of Indonesia and the people of Australia. Forest destruction of this magnitude eventually impacts upon us all. We won’t compromise, the planet has been compromised enough. When does it stop?”

Wildlife Asia this week launched a campaign to raise funds to support local organisations in their mission to influence government decisions. Ms Campbell added “Campaigning at this level takes serious time and money and we need to pull in the heavyweights on this one. Once it’s gone, it’s gone…the future of the Sumatran orangutan, the Sumatran rhino and the people of Sumatra need the right decision to be made here. I urge all Australians to dig deep and assist us in any way possible”

Donations can be made here www.givenow.com.au/wildlifeasia

Wildlife Asia Director, Clare Campbell, is available for interviews and can be contacted on 0438 992 325