Sumatran orangutan. Credit: TomD./Flickr
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Project Name:
Orangutan Habitat Restoration and Protection in the Dolok Sibual Buali Nature Reserve

Batang Toru Forest Region, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Key Activities:

  • Planting 35,460 trees across 140 acres
  • Establishing tree seedling nursery centers to be managed by local village groups
  • Promoting the region as a Sumatran orangutan habitat
  • Raising community awareness about Sumatran orangutan conservation efforts

Project Description:
American Forests and the Sumatra Rainforest Institute (SRI) are reforesting 140 acres of degraded Sumatran orangutan habitat in the Batang Toru forest. American Forests supported a similar project in 2006 through Global ReLeaf.

Why This Project:
The Sumatran orangutan is a critically endangered species, struggling to survive in the island’s shrinking forests. Suitable habitats for this species have been degraded and deforested due to illegal logging, and poaching also poses a serious threat to these primates’ survival. Reforesting in the Dolok Sibual Buali Nature Reserve is helping to secure land where these animals can thrive.

Why Indonesia:
Due to illegal logging and clearing land for palm oil plantations, Indonesia’s rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate. The destruction of these forests has serious consequences for not only the species of plants and animals that live there, but for the health of the planet, too. Rainforests are often called “the lungs of the Earth” because of the essential role they play in absorbing carbon dioxide and pollution and releasing oxygen. As Indonesia’s forests are declining, they are becoming less able to perform this role. In addition, a majority of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia are related to deforestation, especially because Indonesia’s rainforests store significant amounts of carbon dioxide.

Biodiversity in these forests is also at risk. The Batang Toru forest, in particular, supports a high level of biodiversity and provides a home for one of the largest populations of the wild orangutan on the island of Sumatra.


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