The video is a short story of a bigger documentary project Saving Leuser. We need the maximum support not just for Tripa but to save the Leuser ecosystem, the only place in the world that hosts four endangered mega fauna as tigers, rhinos, orangutans, and elephants.
For any kind of comments or ideas to include in the video contact firstname.lastname@example.org or add in facebook by the same mail. Thanks
FROM CORRESPONDENTS IN JAKARTA. From:AFP. March 29, 2012 12:55AM
- The Autralian. Breaking News
CRITICALLY-endangered orangutans in a protected area of Indonesia will be wiped out by the end of the year if land clearing is not stopped, a coalition of environmental groups warned today.
The government must immediately halt the clearance of forest in the 13,000-hectare peat swamps in Tripa, Aceh province, the groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth said.
They also called on the government to investigate the use of fire by palm oil companies for land clearing and reinforce existing laws protecting the ecosystem.
Ian Singleton, conservation director of Swiss-based PanEco, one of the groups making up the Coalition for Protection of Tripa Swamp, said the roughly 200 orangutans left in the peat swamps will be gone in months if the fires continue.
“The speed of destruction, fires, burning and everything has gone up dramatically in the last few weeks, let alone in the last year, and this is obviously a deliberate drive by these companies to clear all the remaining forests,” he said.
“If this is not stopped right now, then all those orangutans, all those forests, will be gone before the end of 2012.”
Experts believe there are about 50,000 to 60,000 of the two species of orangutans left in the wild, 80 per cent of them in Indonesia and the rest in Malaysia.
They are faced with extinction from poaching and the rapid destruction of their forest habitat, driven largely by palm oil and paper plantations.
Most of those left are the endangered Bornean orangutan species. And Singleton said that based on 2004 figures there are only 6600 of the critically-endangered Sumatran orangutans left in North Sumatra and Aceh provinces.
“We suspect that up to 100 orangutans may have perished in forest clearing and peat burning in the last few months in Tripa,” said Graham Usher of local group Foundation of a Sustainable Ecosystem.
Satellite monitoring found at least 87 fire hotspots between March 19 and 24 in three palm oil concessions.
Footage and images captured large clouds of white smoke and patches of burnt peat.
At least 2800 hectares of peat were destroyed in the latest fires, and the number of animals, including Sumatran orangutans, Malayan sun bears and Sumatran tigers that perished was “immeasurable”, the local group added.
Palm oil is a key ingredient in soap and everyday foods ranging from peanut butter to sweets but its cultivation is considered one of the biggest threats to the world’s dwindling rainforests.
Forest fires and land clearing by palm oil firms could kill off within weeks about 200 orangutans in a forest in western Indonesia, an environmental group said on Wednesday.
The orangutans, part of a population of around 6,600 on Sumatra island, used to live in a lush forest and peatland region called Rawa Tripa on the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province. But more than two-thirds of the area has been divided up into palm oil concessions, said the Coalition to Save Tripa.
Graham Usher, a member of the coalition and a landscape protection specialist, said satellite images showed forest fires had been burning in Tripa since last week, and if allowed to continue they could wipe out orangutans already forced onto the edge of remaining forests.
“If there is any prolonged dry spell, which is quite likely, there’s a very good chance that the whole piece of forest and everything in it, so that’s orang-utans, sun bears, tigers, and all the other protected species in it, will disappear in a few weeks and will be gone permanently,” he told a news conference.
The palm oil industry has expanded to make Indonesia the world’s top producer and exporter of the edible oil, used to make goods ranging from cooking oil and biodiesel to biscuits and soap to feed growing Asian consumer demand.
Deforestation has threatened animals like the Sumatran tiger and Javan rhino and pushed up carbon dioxide emissions. The Bali tiger and the Java tiger have disappeared in the last 70 years. A two-year moratorium on new permits to clear primary forests came into effect in Indonesia last year, part of a $1-billion deal with Norway to cut emissions and slow expansion of plantations. But the moratorium was breached in Aceh on its first days, an environmental group has said.
The last Aceh permit for palm oil was issued by former Aceh governor Irwandi Yusuf in August last year to PT Kallista Alam, prompting environmental group WALHI to file a legal suit against Yusuf. A court verdict is expected next week.
“If Kallista Alam win the case they will burn it and that whole bit of forest will disappear and we can say goodbye to the orangutan of Tripa peat swamps,” Usher said.
Kallista Alam could not be reached for comment.
By ALI KOTARUMALOS, Associated Press – 2 hours ago JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) —
Hundreds of critically endangered orangutans in western Indonesia could be wiped out by the year’s end if palm oil companies keep setting land-clearing fires in their peat swamp forests, conservationists warned Thursday.
“They are just barely hanging on,” Ian Singleton, conservation director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, said of the Sumatran orangutans who live in the Tripa forest on the coast of Aceh province. “It is no longer several years away, but just a few months or even weeks before this iconic creature disappears.”
The forest — though officially protected — is hemmed in by palm oil plantations, including one that was granted a permit just last year
Land clearing fires, several set inside the perimeters, have sent orangutans fleeing. Some risk being captured or killed by residents, Singleton said. Others will simply die, either directly in the fires or of gradual starvation and malnutrition as their food resources disappear.
“We are currently watching a global tragedy,” he said.
There are only 6,600 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild.
The Tripa forest — which in the early ’90s was home to around 3,000 of them — today has just 200. But with eight individuals every square kilometer, its the densest population in the world.
Cloud-free images from December show only 12,267 hectares (30,311 acres) of Tripa’s original 60,000 hectares (148,260 acres) of forest remains, said Graham Usher of the Foundation of a Sustainable Ecosystem.
The rest has been broken up and degraded as palm oil companies drain the swamp, he said, adding a total of 92 fire hotspots were recorded between March 19 and 25 in several of the surrounding plantations.
A half-century ago, more than three-quarters of Indonesia was blanketed in plush tropical rain forest. But half those trees have been cleared in the rush to supply the world with pulp, paper and, more recently, palm oil — used to make everything from lipstick and soap to “clean-burning” fuel.
Governments are now trying to find ways to convince the sprawling archipelagic nation to keep trees standing.
As part of a $1 billion deal with Norway, Indonesia recently put in place a two-year moratorium on issuing new permits to clear primary forests.
But conservationists say that deal was violated when the government gave a license to PT Kallista Alam last year to convert 4,000 acres of the Tripa peat swamp. Three other companies are already operating in the area.
An environmental group has filed both a criminal complaint and a lawsuit against the government. The Aceh Administrative Court is expected to hand down a verdict on the lawsuit next week.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.