Is anyone around you helping you in your activities?
«Many people are helping me in conserving the ecosystem. These strong fellows are not only from my team, but I also received a lot of support from the government, military, entrepreneurs, and the community itself. We have seen the community actively protecting their forest from illegal activities, companies improving their sustainable practices, and the government increasing their efforts in environmental protection».
Can you describe what an oil palm plantation looks like? And what the Leuser forest looks like?
«Oil palm is not a bad crop. This crop is indispensable to meet the world’s demand for vegetable oil with a much higher productivity than other types of vegetable oil. However, due to high demand, oil palm companies are undertaking unsustainable expansion, shifting high diversity of forest areas into monoculture plantations that reach thousands of hectares.
One of the forest areas that faces the oil palm or other commodities expansion is Leuser Ecosystem, which is one of the largest remaining forested landscapes on earth with a very high biodiversity. With an area comprising 2.6 million hectares, Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on earth where all four megafaunas, namely Sumatran tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans still co-exist in one landscape. Leuser is home to 105 species of mammals, 382 species of birds, and at least 95 species of reptiles and amphibians (54% of Sumatra’s terrestrial fauna).
But most importantly for us, Leuser is a source of life that serves enormous ecological services, such as producing 200,000 billion cubic meters of water every year to support 4 million people, preventing ecological disasters such as floods and landslides, as well as holding 2,700 gigatonnes of carbon, which majorly contribute in climate change prevention and mitigation».