Urgent Petition to Stop the Destruction of an Indonesian Rainforest & Save Orangutans, Tigers, Elephants & Rhinos

This video presents “Saving Aceh’s Last Forests – Webinar held 11 March 2013”:

  • duration is 1 hour:53 minutes:05 seconds
    • from 1 min:01 sec to 3 mins:15 secs

      • Description of locations and populations of orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos in Aceh province

    • from 3 mins:17 secs to 9 mins:30 secs

      • Timeline of land and forest concessions, permits, moratoriums

      •  Illegal clearance of rainforests via numerous fire set-ups

      • At 9 mins:30 secs, photos of rainforest destruction in March 2012 and burning – scarring of forest areas in June 2012

    • from 9 mins:36 secs to 13 mins:21 secs

      • Timeline of environmental lawsuits

    • from 13 mins:33 secs to 16 mins:41 secs

      • Photos of rainforest clearing and logging activities

      • Consequences for wildlife and habitat

      • “Despite the successes and progress made in the law courts challenging these companies, rainforest destruction is still going on as fast as ever, if not even faster. We are still losing forests very rapidly and we are still losing orangutans and other wildlife,” said Ian Singleton, Pan Eco Foundation / Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

    • from 17 mins:07 secs to 26 mins:08 secs

      • “Protection and un-protection of Aceh forests” was discussed for the National Park, Hunting Park, Nature Park, Forest Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, Elephant Training Center, and Protected Forest

        • Parts of these areas are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site

        • The National Park is part of the larger Leuser Ecosystem which is the only ecosystem on earth where Sumatran tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans co-exist in one area

      • A local Governor of Aceh allowed mining and plantation companies to move in to destroy the rainforests

      • Grim outlook of Aceh rainforest after its legal destruction in the near future:

Avaaz's image: "The plan to kill orangutans"
Avaaz’s image: “The plan to kill orangutans”

In the following Avaaz letter, the Avaaz team is asking us to:

  • urge President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, and Governor of Aceh Zaini Abdullah to
    • reject the plan to cut down protected rainforests in Aceh

    • engage with the local community to develop a plan that prioritizes sustainable development, and that protects this fragile ecosystem and the animals that live there

  • act fast: please sign the urgent petition in the Avaaz  letter below and tell everyone about this “mortal threat to our majestic forest”
    • At the time of this blog posting, 1,079,624 people have signed

    • Please help us reach 1,250,000

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: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917


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


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