Indonesia’s first “Restoration Forest” gives hope to last rainforests in Sumatra
Following a major change in Indonesia’s forestry law, a ground-breaking initiative to protect and restore an area of Sumatra’s remaining dry lowland rainforest has now been made possible.
The Harapan Rainforest Initiative, planned and pursued for over five years by the coalition of Burung Indonesia, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK) and BirdLife International, with support from BirdLife Partners, will establish Indonesia’s first “forest ecosystem restoration concession” for the conservation and regeneration of a 101,000 hectares forest block in the lowlands of Sumatra.
The change in law effectively allows for the first time, ‘production forest’ to be allocated for conservation and restoration.
The announcement comes just in time – the area was likely to be felled and replaced by plantations for timber or oil palm production. …
The area will become a refuge for many of Sumatra’s threatened birds: at least 267 bird species have been surveyed in the forest, with more surveys planned. Of these 71 are threatened with extinction.
The Harapan Rainforest Initiative has particular significance to the conservation of Storm’s Stork Ciconia stormi– an Endangered bird species that has faced considerable declines owing to destruction of lowland forest through logging, dam construction and conversion to oil-palm plantations.
Harapan’s five Vulnerable bird species will also benefit: Short-toed Coucal Centropus bengalensis, Large-billed Blue Flycatcher Cyornis caerulatus, Crestless Fireback Lophura erythrophthalma, Wallace’s Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nanus and Large Green Pigeon Treron capelli.
Other species for which the Harapan Rainforest will become crucial habitat include: Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Malayan Tapir Tapirus indicus, Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus and Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa – recently recognised as a distinct new cat species from the one in mainland Asia.
The Harapan Rainforest will also prove important for conservation of Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger.
20 tigers are known to reside in the dry lowland rainforest.
See also here.
December 2011: The Senepis Tiger Sanctuary – a prominent feature of the massive international greenwash campaign of paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) – is being subject to clear cutting operations by one of the company’s wood suppliers, an investigation by WWF and partners finds: here.
Check out photos of rare animals caught in camera traps in Sumatra, Indonesia: here.