Project Name: Protecting critical orang-utan habitat through strengthening Protected Areas in northern Sumatra
Country: Indonesia
Time Frame: September 2010 – December 2011
Direct Benefits: Conservation of biodiversity namely orang-utan, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant & restoration of the degraded habitats; cultural & spiritual heritage.

The Gunung Leuser National Park covers an area of 7,927 km2 in Northern Sumatra. Combined with the adjacent National Park of Batang Gadis and Singkil Wildlife Sanctuary, this area forms one of the largest Protected Area of the mega-diversity country of Indonesia, covering a wide range of ecosystems and encompassing a diverse wildlife with a high number of endemic species, including the charismatic but critically endangered orang-utan, tiger, rhino and elephant.

Despite being a hotspot for biodiversity, the island of Sumatra has faced severe conservation and management challenges caused by human activities within the past decades, causing huge loss of forest surface and leaving only isolated pockets of remaining forest. Deforestation and forest degradation caused by illegal logging, encroachment or agricultural expansion has resulted in large areas being deteriorated, threatening the survival of many of its species and with the direct consequence of drastically reducing orang-utan habitat.

This project will help improve the management of the three Protected Areas to prevent the continued destruction of the forest and to restore natural habitat for the orang-utans. The project proposes to initiate the process of establishing a community patrol to improve the protection of the parks and to start rehabilitating degraded areas.

Key activities will include the provision of equipment and training to improve law enforcement and monitoring, and the ecological restoration of degraded critical orang-utan habitat.

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