The Leuser Ecosystem on the Indonesian island of Sumatra is the last place on Earth where orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers still live together in the wild. In one of the last remaining intact rainforests in all of Indonesia, pristine lowland jungles, lush peat swamps and cloud-shrouded mountain forests serve as a carbon storage powerhouse and the source of drinking water and agricultural livelihood for over four million people.
Leuser is under siege, its vast forests being relentlessly destroyed for quick profit. This could see much of its natural resources and economic benefits irreversibly destroyed in just a few years. We also stand to lose the wonders of this unique ecosystem, as iconic wildlife species are pushed to the brink of extinction and incredible landscapes are changed beyond recognition, forever.
Thankfully, several brave and visionary conservation groups and advocates are taking a stand to protect this uniquely precious environment from the many threats it faces. The Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund (LEAF) was created to scale up effective conservation efforts before it’s too late.
We’re thinking long-term and big-picture, striving to fundamentally change the way the Leuser Ecosystem is valued, managed and protected.
Ranked as one of the “world’s most irreplaceable protected areas,” the Leuser Ecosystem is a unique and globally important forest, and one of the largest intact forests left in Southeast Asia, covering 2.6 million hectares (6.5 million acres).
- Vital habitat and a last stronghold for the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran rhinoceros, Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephant, as well as myriad other threatened species;
- An important carbon store, with forests and peat swamps holding huge amounts of carbon laid down over thousands of years;
- A vital watershed that provides local people and businesses with protection from flooding, drought, landslides, fires and related natural disasters. More than four million people living in the wider landscape rely upon the critical services it provides.