Forgetting Old Promises | Koran Tempo

by Untung Widyanto, free translation by Adji Darsoyo

article on Koran Tempo Wednesday 24 October 2012

The title of the PowerPoint presentation is interesting: “High Conservation Value Forest”. The exposure of 35 slides reflects a review on one of the oil palm companiesin the Sub districts of Darul Makmur within Nagan Raya District in Aceh. On the 23rd slide, the company promises to conserve over 6,000 ha area. What happens now? “The new owner of the company does not care about the old promise,” said Graham Usher form SOCP yesterday. He presented satellite images from Landsat 7 taken from last year up to last week.

On December 26, 2011, for example, the forest cover of Tripa was 12,655 ha. Satellite image taken on last October 9 shows only 10,024 ha remaining. This means that during 2012, 2,631 ha of forest have gone. In fact, said Graham, 80% of those lost forest area lie within two concessions.

Currently, the largest forest fragment existing in Tripa Peat Swamp covers 5,365 ha. Other large forest fragments cover only 994, 674, 382, 250, and 146 ha each. The rest are under 100 ha.

This information is, according to Ian Singleton, very important, regarding that one orangutan in the wild nature needs quite a large exploring range. E.g. the female ones need up to 1,500 ha. This means that remaining orangutan within the existing fragments will have difficulties to have enough range and food.

Besides satellite image, the team of SOCP also took aerial video recording. “Since June, one of the concessions has excavated more than 15 km drainage,” said Graham.



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About endoftheicons

The Leuser Ecosystem on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia is in grave danger. Local politicians want to allow logging, mining and palm oil plantations in this vulnerable area. Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers are already hanging on by a thread. They will not survive the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem.

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