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Ecosystem restoration led by a paper company is improving Sumatra’s biodiversity

Date: 16-Jul-19
Author: Doug Donnellan

Sumatran tigers are just one of the beautiful and threatened creatures living in the rainforests of Sumatra.

Sumatran tigers are just one of the beautiful and threatened creatures living in the rainforests of Sumatra.

In an effort to combat climate change, the Indonesian paper company known as APRIL established the ecosystem restoration programme, Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER), in 2013.

The restoration area along Sumatra’s Eastern coastline is approximately the size of London at 150,000 hectares and is part of a biodiversity hotspot. The region was once at risk of commercial and illegal logging activities, but is now a safe haven for native plant and animal species.

To monitor the success of these efforts, RER set up camera traps and ground patrols to perform wildlife counts. According to their recent report, they were able to identify 71 mammal, 304 bird, 107 reptile and amphibian, 89 fish, and 119 tree species, which are great improvements compared to 2013 figures. These numbers indicate the presence of 17 species that are listed on the IUCN Red List, including the Sumatran tiger.

Hydrological restoration that is allowing groundwater levels to return to healthy levels, along with maintenance that prevents large-scale wildfires have also been beneficial to neighbouring communities. No-burn vegetable farms and catfish aquaculture operations have been able to provide an added income to these groups without harming the protected lands.

This effort comes alongside the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration initiative that was announced earlier this year with the aim of removing 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere between 2021 and 2030.

RER’s advisory board chair, Bey Soo Khiang noted the importance of the work. “Through communication and knowledge sharing we hope we can contribute to a global programme of lasting significance,” Bey said. “It also has a vital role to play as an agent of biodiversity recovery and sustainable development.”


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Doug                                              Donnellan
Author: Doug Donnellan

Doug joined Planet Ark's Information Centre team in April 2019 after completing a Master's of Sustainability. As a professional chef with his own catering business, Doug possesses a strong interest in food sustainability.

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