Target: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
Goal: Stop putting endangered animals at risk of extinction with deforestation
Many endangered animal species are currently at risk of extinction due to habitat loss in Aceh, a province in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The region has approved an infrastructure plan which involves building logging reserves, mining, roads, and palm oil plantations. If implemented, the developments will take away a large chunk of already dwindling rainforest, putting endangered orangutans, elephants, and rhinos at further risk of extinction.
The Leuser Ecosystem, which is made up of Sumatra’s two northernmost provinces, is one of the most diverse in all of Asia, and houses the richest rainforest known to science. Due to an explosion in palm oil plantations in the area, many of these areas have already been deforested, creating an already detrimental situation for much of the country’s endangered wildlife.
Currently, there are just under 7,000 orangutans in Sumatra, many of them concentrated in the area that is currently at risk. The province, which also houses one of the largest populations of tigers in all of Asia, will also be putting endangered Sumatran tigers at risk. Animal advocacy experts fear that the plan could wipe out rhinos in the province entirely, while leaving only a few hundred orangutans.
Upon loss of habitat, many of these animals are likely to wander into areas inhabited by humans, posing danger to both parties. The animals would also be at risk of starvation and exposure, while the entire ecosystem could be thrown off balance if even one of the at-risk species are lost.
It is cruel to destroy the habitats of endangered species in pursuit of economic gain, and highly irresponsible to disregard the opinions of conservation experts. While the provincial government may insist on going ahead with construction, the federal government could easily override the decision. Your signature will demand that the Indonesian federal government step in to save at-risk rainforests and wildlife.
Dear Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
The Northern state of Aceh in Sumatra has begun work on a plan to build palm oil plantations, roads, and mines in a portion of the Sumatran rainforest. This plan, which requires deforestation of large areas, will put already endangered animals at risk of extinction due to loss of habitat.
It is cruel and irresponsible to allow the destruction of critical wildlife habitats, and the federal government of Indonesia should not allow it. I ask that you step in to ensure that Sumatra’s orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants are not put at risk by needless development.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Captain Herbert via Creative Commons