OFFICIALS in the Indonesian province of Aceh have vowed to safeguard the last known habitat shared by tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants, but concerns abound that the proposed protections are limited in scope.
The provincial government, which enjoys a degree of autonomy from the central government in Jakarta, has declared there will be no infrastructure projects developed inside the Gunung Leuser National Park. The park is part of the Leuser Ecosystem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the only known habitat on Earth home to critically endangered Sumatran tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants.
Specifically, officials are revoking a plan to drill for geothermal energy in the park, as they seek to remove it from UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The park has been on the list since 2011 due to ongoing destruction of its rainforest ecosystem.
“In accordance with Aceh’s spatial plans, there [will be] no infrastructure development inside the Gunung Leuser National Park,” Aceh Deputy Governor Nova Iriansyah said as quoted on the provincial government’s website.
Read more from source: Sumatran habitat for tigers, orangutans gets a partial reprieve from development