The Indonesian government and conservation group WWF have announced a commitment to protect the remaining forests and critical ecosystems of Sumatra, the world’s sixth-largest island, which holds some of the most diverse and endangered forests, a press release by the green group anounced.
Sumatra is the only place on Earth where tigers, elephants, orangutans and rhinos co-exist but since 1985 the island has lost 48 percent of its natural forest cover. This historic agreement represents the first-ever island-wide commitment to protect Sumatra’s stunning biodiversity. It has been endorsed by governors of all the provinces across Sumatra and also by four Ministers.
“This agreement commits all the Governors of Sumatra’s ten provinces, along with the Indonesian Ministries of Forestry, Environment, Interior and Public Works, to restore critical ecosystems in Sumatra and protect areas with high conservation values,” said Hermien Roosita, Deputy Minister of Environment. “The Governors will now work together to develop ecosystem-based spatial plans that will serve as the basis for future development on the island.”
WWF, Conservation International (CI), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and other conservation groups working in Sumatra have agreed to help implement the political commitment to protect what remains of the island’s species-rich forests and critical areas.
“WWF is eager to help make this commitment a reality to protect the magnificent tropical forests across Sumatra. These forests shelter some of the world’s rarest species and provide livelihoods for millions of people,” said Mubariq Ahmad, CEO of WWF-Indonesia.
Today’s announcement follows commitments made at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference of Parties in Bonn in May to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020 – that means that global forest coverage must remain the same, taking into account deforestation and reforestation.
Source: WWF press release