Indonesia: Protection sought for Leuser ecosystem, Sumatran orangutans

Hasyim Widhiarto The Jakarta Post 9 Dec 16;

Coordinated efforts by stakeholders to protect Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem are becoming more crucial to help save the heritage site and its endangered species, a United States-based environmental organization has suggested.

Referring to the newly updated International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species, the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) said Friday that conservation of the Leuser ecosystem would help the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), a critically endangered animal according to the list, to survive.

“The IUCN’s message is clear: Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem must be protected, otherwise the Sumatran orangutans will become extinct,” RAN’s Leuser ecosystem campaigner Chelsea Matthews said in a press release.

The Leuser ecosystem is a UNESCO world heritage site that covers thousands of hectares of protected forest in Aceh and North Sumatra.

In its report, the IUCN said that the illegal spatial land-use plan being implemented by the Aceh provincial administration ignored the Leuser ecosystem’s status as a National Strategic Area, designated for its environmental function.

“Moreover, modelling based on different land-use scenarios and their likely impacts predicts that an additional 4,500 Sumatran orangutans could be lost by 2030 as a direct consequence of this spatial plan and related developments,” it said.

WWF Indonesia Urges Govt to Support Biodiversity Conservation Efforts
Ratri M. Siniwi Jakarta Globe 9 Dec 16;

Jakarta. With world leaders gathering in Cancun, Mexico, to discuss global biodiversity conservation,World Wildlife Fund Indonesia has urged the Indonesian government to buck up on handling the dramatic biodiversity loss taking place across the archipelago.

Initiated by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) gathers 196 world leaders for the 13th Conference of Parties on Dec. 4 to 17 to discuss achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which includes improving wildlife conditions such as water, forests and oceans.

Indonesia’s national strategy in biodiversity conservation was implemented through the Indonesian Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (IBSAP) 2003-2020, which has been revised to IBSAP 2015-2020.

However, according to WWF Indonesia, this plan sounds a lot more "talk" than action.

“The government has not fully integrated biodiversity conservation strategies in any national development planning strategies across sectors, which is necessary as biodiversity requires more than just conservation areas,” said Arnold Sitompul, WWF Indonesia conservation director, in a written statement on Wednesday (07/12).

Additionally after recently publishing the Living Planet report, WWF Indonesia noted there is still a lack of following for conservation in the national economic planning.

“The government must come up with breakthrough ideas in efforts for conservation in Indonesia, by seriously implementing the Action Plan through establishing institutions, policies, and allocating an optimal budget,” he added.

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