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The Leuser Ecosystem  - World Heritage Protection, or destroyed forever?!

The Leuser Ecosystem ( often referred to just as ‘KEL’ ) is the last place on earth where Tigers, Orangutans, Elephants and Rhinos roam together in the wild. In total, it’s 2.6 million hectares of protected forests, of which 80% and the vast majority of Sumatra’s remaining biodiversity is in the Province of Aceh, Sumatra Indonesia.


For the Acehnese, The Leuser Ecosystem provides a source of clean water for at least 4 million people in the region as a downstream irrigation, agriculture , and food sources . The Leuser Ecosystem also provides environmental services to the people of Aceh through prevention of erosion, flooding, landslides and spread of pests. For national and international community, The Leuser Ecosystem has an important role as a regulator of climate and carbon storage.

The Leuser Ecosystem was recently mentioned in the article published by the International Journal of Science, as one of the " irreplaceable " protected areas in the world and is now being promoted by leading scientists around the world to be included as a UNESCO World Heritage Area.

This petition will be addressed to Dr . Zaini Abdullah , Governor of Aceh as the leader of Aceh to show the world that the decisions it does greatly affect the lives of many people.

Please sign and share this urgent petition today.  Never underestimate the impact you can make to help save the people and biodiversity of Aceh.



Chairman Walhi Aceh

Friends of the Earth Indonesia


Scientists identify 137 protected areas most important for preserving biodiversity


Letter to
Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan
Minister of Public Works Djoko Kirmanto (Minister of Public Works)
President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (President of Indonesia)
and 11 others
Head of National Council of Climate Change Agus Purnomo
Deputi V UKP4 Nirartha Samadhi
Deputi VI UKP4 Mas Ahmad Santosa
Head of UKP4 Kuntoro Mangkusubroto
Sec General Forestry Hadi Daryanto
Vice Governor of Aceh Muzakir Manaf
Head of National Parliament Marzuki Alie
Wali Nanggroe Aceh Malik Mahmud
Governor of Aceh Zaini Abdullah
Ketua MPR RI Zulkifli Hasan
Direktur Penataan Ruang Wilayah Nasional, Kemen PU Ir. Iman Soedradjat, MPM (Direktur Penataan Ruang Wilayah Nasional, Kemen PU)
The Leuser Ecosystem (Kawasan Ekosistem Leuser / KEL) has long been recognized as an irreplaceable ecosystem to the people of Aceh, providing approximately four million people with clean water for downstream irrigation, agriculture and food production. KEL provides further environmental services to communities through mitigation of soil erosion, flooding, landslides and pest outbreaks. Everyone knows that if we clear the forests in the hills, the rivers will become heavy with sediment, fishing will be worse, and the risk of floods increase. Nationally and internationally KEL plays a critical role in climate regulation and carbon storage. Aceh is rightly proud of these ecological services that have been valued at more than 400 million dollars per year. In addition, KEL has received international recognition as one of the most important areas in world for protecting very rare biodiversity.

The tough stance taken on criminal activities in KEL (Act No.26/2007) to protect this globally significant area is highly respected in the international community.

For these reasons, to support the community, sustainable development, biodiversity and long-term health of Aceh as a great region, We would like to build on this international recognition by suggesting that you consider nominating KEL to become a new UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a World Heritage Site, KEL would remain part of the legal territory of Aceh but UNESCO considers it in the interests of the international community to preserve each site. Therefore World Heritage status would give KEL special recognition and further support from the international community.

Mr. Governor, there has been there many hopes placed in the hands by Acehnese people who elected you to power, and your friends who have supported you and Aceh from around the world in times of trouble.

We are alert you to the ‘draft Pergub KEL’ / ‘Governors Law on the Leuser Ecosystem’ that is being pursued by those who seek to pillage the resources of Aceh. We worry those who push this law have the ability to greatly damage the international reputation of the Governor, by ignoring the law 11/2006. We respectfully request taking serious consideration of this decision of the Pergub KEL, reject this pergub, and prevent the destruction of Aceh.

Authority over the KEL is respectfully in the hands of Mr. Governor, and policies on KEL will affect the lives of local Acehnesse communities and also the international community. These policies also affect the reputation of Mr , Aceh and Indonesia in the eyes of the world.

Mr Governor, the world is watching and supports you to take the best information when you choose the future for Aceh. We stand ready to support your good policy decision, and reject the destruction of KEL.

Please strive for places that are "indispensable" for us.