Save Sumatran elephants

This video is called Sumatran Elephant Emergency Appeal.

It says about itself:

26 June 2014

An emergency appeal has been launched by the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) for local conservation group HAkA, in response to a significant increase in poaching of Sumatran elephants in Aceh, Indonesia.

The appeal will allow the HAkA teams (made up of local community members and trained conservation professionals) to carry out essential patrols in the Leuser ecosystem throughout July, to remove snares from this key Sumatran elephant corridor during the most intense hunting period.

Visit here to donate.

Wildlife Extra adds:

There are just 500 Sumatran elephants, which are the smallest of the Asian elephants, left and they live in fragmented habitats, as almost 70 per cent of elephant-suitable habitat has been destroyed in the last 25 years.

As a result of this their home, the tropical forests of the Leuser Ecosystem, is part of a designated World Heritage Site in Danger.

And conservationists fear that an increase in poaching could drive this number down even further.

In the first five months of this year, local conservation group HAkA has found and destroyed 139 snares – already more than in the whole of 2013.

Limited forest cover also means that elephants can easily be trapped in small areas, making them easier targets for poachers.

Save Indonesian wildlife

This video from Indonesia says about itself:

EYES ON LEUSER september 2012

This video shows several species of wildlife filmed in the mountains of the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia by using video camera traps.


Environmentalists call for recognition of orangutan, rhino habitat as heritage site

December 11, 2013

Environmentalists in Indonesia’s Aceh Province are calling upon the local governor to nominate the Leuser Ecosystem as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to help protect the area — one of the last places where rhinos, elephants, tigers, and orangutans share the same habitat — from new legislation that would grant large blocks of forest for logging concessions, mining, and industrial plantations.

The push comes in the form of [a] petition and a simultaneous on-the-ground campaign.

“The Leuser Ecosystem (Kawasan Ekosistem Leuser / KEL) has long been recognized as an irreplaceable ecosystem to the people of Aceh, providing approximately four million people with clean water for downstream irrigation, agriculture and food production,” states the petition. “For these reasons, to support the community, sustainable development, biodiversity and long-term health of Aceh as a great region, We would like to build on this international recognition by suggesting that [Aceh governor Zaini Abdullah] consider nominating KEL to become a new UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

“As a World Heritage Site, the Leuser Ecosystem would remain part of the legal territory of Aceh but UNESCO considers it in the interests of the international community to preserve each site,” the petition continues. “Therefore World Heritage status would give KEL special recognition and further support from the international community.”

Governor Zaini Abdullah is preparing to sign a revision of the Aceh’s spatial plan, which governs land use in the province. Heavy lobbying by mining, logging, and palm oil companies has resulted in large carve-outs for forest conversion. Environmentalists say the proposed changes would diminish important ecological services, increase the likelihood of flooding and landslides, and put endangered wildlife at greater risk. Leuser’s biodiversity led it to be recently cited in the journal Science as one of the world’s most irreplaceable protected areas.

Campaigners argue that the proposed revision is in fact illegal. Petition sponsor M. Nur, Director of WALHI Aceh (Friends of the Earth Aceh, said that as a “National Strategic Area with Protection Functions”, Leuser is off-limits to activities proposed in the new spatial plan.

“The draft Regulation proposed contravenes Aceh Governance Law No 11 / 2006, National Law No 26/2007 on Spatial Planning and Government Regulation No 26/2008, also on Spatial Planning,” Nur said in a statement. “If he still proceeds to sign it, we will have no choice but to seek a Judicial Review by the Supreme Court.”

Part of the greater Leuser ecosystem has already been lost to oil palm plantations. The Tripa peninsula was home to some 60,000 hectares of primary peat swamp forest in 1990 and some 3,000 orangutans. Conversion of the area for plantations has left only scraps of degraded forest and a small population of critically endangered orangutans. One of the small surviving patches of forest was last year cleared by PT Kallista Alam, a palm oil company, despite protection under a nation-wide moratorium on new conversion permits in peatlands and primary forests. That incident led to legal complaints and a court case against the company. A decision in that case is expected at the end of the month.

Sign the petition to save Aceh: here.

Save Indonesia’s Sumatran orangutans


Dear friends,


It’s the last place on Earth where endangered orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants roam free together. But mining companies and big agriculture want to rip the rainforest to shreds. If a million people call on Indonesia’s President to silence the chainsaws in the next three days, we can save this precious habitat. Sign now:

I live and work in the last place on Earth where endangered orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers still roam together — but it’ll be bulldozed to bits unless our President hears our call and steps in to save this unique habitat.

Right now in one of Indonesia’s most pristine and untouched forests, a local Governor wants to let mining and palm oil companies move in to decimate areas the size of a million football fields! And the national Forestry Ministry looks like it might let him unless the President steps in to reject this orangutan-killing plan.

We know the President wants to be seen as a keen conservationist, but we need to tell him his green reputation and possible future UN aspirations are on the line to ensure he does the right thing. We need to act fast — sign the urgent petition and tell everyone about this mortal threat to our majestic forest. If a million people sign in the next 3 days, I’ll ensure the President hears us:

I know these forests well — I’ve been working as a conservation manager here since 2007, and received the Future for Nature Award 2013 for my work protecting large mammals in Sumatra, especially rhinos. This place holds the largest biodiversity in all of the Asia Pacific region, and parts of it are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. But this new mining company-backed plan would lay waste to much of it, and would also threaten local communities with deadly landslides and flash floods! And if their habitat is destroyed it could decimate the last few orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos.

Two years ago, the President set up a national task force on deforestation, and signed a two-year logging moratorium after out of control slash and burn logging landed Indonesia in the global news as one of the top greenhouse gas emitters in the world. Thankfully, reports say the President has agreed to renew the moratorium this week, which has been a life insurance policy for so many critically endangered species. But even with the renewal, the Governor of Aceh could still rezone broad swathes of the rainforest for logging unless the President intervenes. The President has only a year and a half left in office, with some saying he’s hoping to transition into a top job at the United Nations, and we just want him to stick to his word. “Forests are so dear to my heart … losing our tropical rainforests would constitute the ultimate national, global and planetary disaster,” our president told other world leaders at a recent conference.

Mega-palm oil companies would love nothing more than to rip these trees from the ground, and the East Asia Minerals Corporation, based in Canada, was just found working behind the scenes to push through this plan! Countries like mine have a right to develop, but not at the expense of our priceless natural patrimony, and it should benefit, not harm, Indonesians.

Let’s tell the President there is an easy solution — step in to stop this forest-killing plan. Sign now and tell everyone — we don’t have long before the mining company invasion. Then if you’re on Twitter, send our Twitter-loving President a direct message after you sign:

As an Avaaz member I’ve seen this community come together to protect forests and critically endangered species, from the Amazon in Ecuador and Brazil to elephants and rhinos threatened by poaching. Now it’s Indonesia’s turn — join us in saving this magical forest.

With hope,

Rudi Putra in Indonesia, with the whole Avaaz team

PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global:


Indonesia Moves Towards Approving Deforestation Plan in Aceh (Jakarta Globe)

Mining company working with Indonesian government to strip forest of protected status (The Guardian)

Govt to extend forestry moratorium over business objections: Deputy Minister (Jakarta Post)

President Yudhoyono promises to dedicate the next three years to protecting Indonesia’s forests (REDD monitor)

Conservation scientists: Aceh’s spatial plan a risk to forests, wildlife, and people (Mongabay)

Indonesia’s Protected Rainforests Disappearing (Huffington Post)

Aceh draft bylaw risks forests, say activists (Jakarta Post)

Rudi H. Putra: Winner 2013 Future For Nature

Photographs taken using camera traps have revealed that orangutans spend more time on the ground than previously thought. Since orangutans tend to stay up in the trees when humans are present, scientists who observed orangutans in the past have a distorted view of how much time the apes spend on the ground: here.

The expansion of palm oil plantations into Tesso Nilo National Park needs to be stopped immediately to improve the credibility of Indonesia’s palm oil industry: here.