ALERT urges Indonesian president to protect imperiled forest

ALERT has joined an international effort to urge the outgoing Indonesian President to protect the spectacular Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra -- the only place on Earth where tigers, orangutans, elephants, and rhinoceros still coexist.

  Final refuge for a vanishing world

Final refuge for a vanishing world

The Leuser Ecosystem is severely imperiled by massive road-building and development schemes, as well as illegal logging, mining, poaching, and forest burning. 

In December 2013, ALERT issued its very first press release, its first major conservation campaign, and its first international petition drive in support of efforts to protect the Leuser region.

The Leuser conservation campaign is growing -- first with an outpouring of support from scientists, academics, and economists around the world for nominating the Leuser Ecosystem as a World Heritage Site.

Then came the historic Tripa court case -- which levied a massive fine against palm oil company PT Kallista Alam for illegally clearing peat swamp forest in Leuser.  The company's director was sent to prison.

And then a delegation from the European Union visited Aceh to offer the Governor there support for a more sustainable development plan for Aceh, including the Leuser Ecosystem. 

A key focus of these efforts is cancellation of the so-called "Aceh spatial plan", which is seen as a major threat to the region.

ALERT is co-signing an open letter to the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, urging him to cancel the Aceh spatial plan before leaving office next month.

The letter to the President will be featured in a press release in Jakarta next week, on the eve of the U.N. Climate Summit in New York, which the President will be attending.

The President has frequently claimed to support efforts to protect Indonesia's native forests, which have suffered massively in recent decades.  He now has an opportunity to do so -- helping to save a spectacular jewel of Indonesia before the eyes of the world.

Organizations and influential individuals who wish to co-sign the open letter can do so by immediately contacting leuserecosystemwhs@gmail.com.