Systems Change

Indonesian rainforests are under severe pressure, but it is not too late to save or restore key landscapes on Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.

Better data on forest loss and greater awareness about its consequences have marshalled a greater effort to conserve what is left, including the Leuser Ecosystem. However, contradictions remain. A recent drop in deforestation rates has been attributed by some commentators to public and private sector policies that prohibit forest-clearing. However, as existing regulations are relaxed in a drive for economic growth, there are concerns this could lead to more forests being converted to agriculture.

Turning to the international market – where the majority of commodities like palm oil get sold – sustainability commitments from major consumer brands and banks have not been sufficient to stop the products of illegal deforestation finding their way onto supermarket shelves. Civil society groups around the world are constantly improving the sophistication by which they engage this complex web of stakeholders. They need philanthropic fuel to keep going. LEAF contributes to this work where it touches down in the Leuser Ecosystem; and by working as part of a wider funder community dedicated to forest protection all over the world.