Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia

by Sumatran Orangutan Society
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Replanting Rainforest in Sumatra, Indonesia
Fires burn in Tripa (photo by SOCP, taken in 2012)
Fires burn in Tripa (photo by SOCP, taken in 2012)

In a groundbreaking legal win for Sumatra's forests, Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a palm oil company, PT Kallista Alam, which was found guilty of illegally burning over 1,000 hectares of the Tripa peat swamp forests in Sumatra, part of the Leuser Ecosystem - vital orangutan habitat.

The company has been fined more than USD $25 million, a verdict that many hope will set a precedent for law enforcement against companies involved in environmental destruction. A large proportion of the fine will be used to restore the ecosystem.

The verdict comes as Sumatra and surrounding areas are shrouded in a thick haze, caused by illegal forest fires. The Environment and Forestry Ministry are stepping up legal action against the plantation companies behind the raging fires.

Following this conservation success for the Tripa peat swamp forests, citizens in Sumatra's Aceh province have announced their intention to launch a class action lawsuit against the Government for their failure to ensure the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem - critical orangutan habitat, and the only place on earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos roam together.

An alliance of concerned citizens will take the Minister of Home Affairs to court over his failure to cancel the disastrous Aceh Spatial Plan and enforce national conservation laws. The plan intends to open up vast areas of the Leuser Ecosystem for roads, mining and plantations, which would pose an extreme threat to biodiversity due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as to Aceh's communities, due to increased risk of flooding and landslides

SOS and our supporters around the world have been backing the fight against Aceh Spatial Plan since 2013, and this latest move is a major step forward for the campaign. We will share the latest developments as the case progresses.

Congratulations to all our colleagues in Sumatra who have fought a long battle for Tripa, and thank you to all of our supporters who added their voices to the call for justice and continue to support our programmes and campaigns to protect Sumatra's orangutans and their forests!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Wild orangutan spotted in the restoration site!
Wild orangutan spotted in the restoration site!

As we sit in our office in the UK, we often long to be in the heart of the rainforests of Indonesia. When we receive messages and photos from our colleagues on the ground in Sumatra it is always the highlight of our day, and sharing these with our supporters means that we can instantly brighten your day, too!

The latest photos from the forest restoration site certainly brought a smile to our faces, as the team spotted a wild orangutan, and the camera traps snapped Sumatran elephants too! Both are critically endangered species. The ever-more-frequent sightings of both orangutans and elephants at the site is a great sign that the young forest is already becoming valuable habitat for these and countless other species.

If you have ever daydreamed about exploring the rainforest, consider joining a very special expedition to the Leuser Ecosystem with us - the very forests that your donations are helping to protect and restore.  

Thank you for helping us bring back precious orangutan habitat - this project embodies the phrase 'conservation in action' and it is so wonderful to see the real results that your donations are enabling on the ground.

An elephant passes through the site at night
An elephant passes through the site at night

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
An orangutan feeding in the canopy
An orangutan feeding in the canopy

It has been a great month for the new orangutan research team in Sumatra. 

Based at our flagship forest restoration site in the Gunung Leuser National Park, the team have been tasked with following orangutans in the new and secondary forest, and collecting data on their behaviour and feeding habits, to compare with orangutans living in primary forest areas.

After following a mother orangutan with her infant for two days, the team met three more orangutans, just 1km from the restoration cabin. These orangutans were found to be having what the researchers referred to as 'a food party' in a particular fruiting tree, a Marak Bangkong tree (Endospermum diadenum). 

Orangutans are usually solitary animals, not living or travelling in groups like the African great apes, but when a particularly favoured tree is fruiting, it is possible to see several orangutans, and other animals too, all eating together.

The team followed the mother (named Pebi) and her 7 month old baby (named Panizo) for ten days in total, before then starting to following and observe a young male orangutan, named Baneng and thoughts to be 3 years old.

The research team has taken some great photos of the orangutans in the restored forest - this is the best evidence possible that forest restoration really does provide viable habitat for orangutans, and we're delighted to be able to share these images of wild orangutans feeding in the trees that you helped us to plant - thank you so much for all your support, and please help us plant even more trees!

A mother orangutan & her infant
A mother orangutan & her infant
Three orangutans feeding from the same tree
Three orangutans feeding from the same tree
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Seedlings in the nursery
Seedlings in the nursery

There's a lot of work involved in planting a rainforest. Once the tree seedlings are planted, the team in Sumatra then set to work making sure they have the best possible chance of survival. This isn't always easy in harsh tropical conditions - when land has been deforested, the soil may be dry and cracked, and flood quickly when it rains.

One of the ways they help the new seedlings to thrive is through a process of 'maintenance'. This involves weeding, cutting back any foliage that may be overshadowing the newly planted trees which need lots of sunlight, and adding compost and mulch.

The restoration crew have also been busy with enrichment planting. This involves planting indigenous rainforest tree seedlings on tracts of land that are naturally regenerating, and increasing the species diversity on areas of replanted land, for example by adding in slow-growing 'climax' tree species. They have conducted enrichment on more than 60 hectares in the last couple of months.

The team also conducts research and collects data to support the restoration process. They record the presence of young leaves, flowers and fruit on the trees throughout the year, and compare the primary forest with the trees in the restoration site, so that they can predict fruiting seasons and the best time of year to plant certain species. 

As you can see, planting a tree is just the start, and we are rather fond of the saying "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

With your support, we are bringing life back to devastated landscapes. Would you like to join us on an expedition to Sumatra to see the forests that your donations are helping to restore? See below for more information.

Growing a forest
Growing a forest
Orangutans need trees!
Orangutans need trees!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Al Jazeera's Earthrise series has been to Sumatra to explore the threats to orangutans and their forests, and the frontline projects that offer hope for the survival of the species - including our forest restoration work with our partner organisation, the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC). You can also see conservation technology in action as our conservation drones take to the skies to monitor deforestation in the Leuser Ecosystem. This short film really brings the project to life - please have a watch and share it far and wide - we need more awareness of the power of positive conservation action!

The film features Panut Hadisiswoyo, the head of the OIC, and David Dellatore, SOS Programme Manager.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Sumatran Orangutan Society

Location: Abingdon, Oxon - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @orangutansSOS
Project Leader:

UK Director
Abingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom
$130,801 raised of $150,000 goal
 
2,171 donations
$19,199 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Sumatran Orangutan Society has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.