The Leuser Ecosystem

The Leuser Ecosystem

Project Overview

The Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on Earth where orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers coexist in the wild. This landscape spans over 6 million acres and houses the largest remaining intact forest on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. It also contains a range of diverse habitats, from coastal peat swamps to high mountain tops, allowing for many unique and diverse species to thrive.

Human settlement into this region has resulted in the conversion of forests into oil palm plantations, exposing wildlife to poaching and creating easier access for illegal logging and mining. New development for infrastructures such as hydropower and road construction also threatens to further damage the ecosystem, making it an urgent conservation priority.

In collaboration with Rainforest Trust and our local partner, Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL), we have worked together to protect a critical portion of the Leuser. Through the purchase of this land, FKL will extend a protected wildlife corridor vital to these and other threatened species. By securing and recovering the original ecology, an Asian Elephant population will be able to migrate to its rich riparian lowlands to feed and further south of the valley to reconnect with the Asian Elephants of the neighbouring Bengkung Basin.

One of FKL’s largest priorities is to stop encroachment on the protected and surrounding areas through patrols and management. These teams stop illegal activities like poaching and prevent forest crimes such as slash-and-burn land clearing. Our collaboration also allows FKL to educate the local communities of northern Sumatra in sustainable resource use, giving them the skills necessary to conserve their forests and rivers and allow them to live in harmony with their environment while protecting it to secure a healthy, happy future. So far, this has included the construction of a community building that serves as a communications hub and discussion area for their conservation efforts. They are also recruiting community members to patrol the protected area to stop deforestation and poaching in order to ensure this incredible ecosystem is sustained for future generations.

Fact Sheet

Country: Indonesia

Species at risk: 11

Acres Saved: 10

Trees Saved: 5,585

Tonnes of CO2 eq. Stored: 1,586

Did you know? The Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on Earth where orangutans, elephants and tigers coexist in the wild.

In collaboration with Forum Konservasi Leuser

Our local partner, the Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL), currently operates 26 Wildlife Protection Teams across the 2.2 million hectares of the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh Province. Each team consists of 5 members (4 FKL rangers and one government ranger), patrolling for at least 15 days every month to collect data on wildlife presence, assist in wildlife surveys, dismantle snares, and become ambassadors for their communities to protect the forest. Since 2014, the FKL rangers have dismantled over 5,000 snares.

The Leuser Ecosystem

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