The Gunung Leuser Ecosystem
The only place left on earth where tigers, elephants, orangutans, and rhinos live together in the wild: the Leuser Ecosystem World Heritage Site on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The Leuser Ecosystem spans 2.6 million hectares (6 million acres). Its diverse landscape includes lowland and montane rainforests, nine rivers, three lakes, and over 185,000 hectares of carbon-rich peatlands. One of the last remaining intact rainforests in all of Indonesia, it is a crucial source of clean drinking water and agricultural livelihoods for over four million people.
Palm Oil: The Facts
The Palm Oil industry is one of the most devastatingly destructive and harmful industries on the planet. This 96 Billion Dollar a year industry is largely responsible for the widespread destruction of the Earth's tropical ecosystems, and the Leuser Ecosystem in North Sumatra is no exception to this. In fact, around 2 and a half million acres of Indonesian rainforest is cleared for the development and growth of this harmful monoculture. This has led to the near extinction of a wide range of incredible species of animal including the Sumatran Orangutan, Tiger, Elephant, Rhino, Clouded Leopard and sun bears to name a few.
However this does not need to be the case. In fact Palm oil has the potential to be very environmentally friendly if it is grown sustainably. This is because it requires far less space to meet our needs than alternatives such as coconut, olive, sunflower, and maize. On the same area of land, oil palm produces twice as much oil as coconut and over thirty times as much as maize!
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