Poachers in Africa are encroaching on wildlife land and killing rhinos in travel hot spots now devoid of visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Indonesia announces a ban on palm oil expansion
The Indonesian palm oil moratorium comes weeks after Leonardo DiCaprio visited the country to raise awareness on plantations’ impact on the Leuser ecosystem.
The government of Indonesia has declared a new moratorium on the expansion of the palm oil and mining industries in the Leuser ecosystem. This area, located on the island of Sumatra, is the last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild. As well as being a biodiversity hotspot, the area provides water and clean air to over four million people.
Important news for the #LeuserEcosystem, a globally important, high priority landscape for #conservation. Millions of local people depend directly on its 6.5 million acres of tropical #forest for their clean water supply, livelihoods and protection against flooding and landslides. #Regram #RG @rainforestactionnetwork: Positive news for the #LeuserEcosystem and other #forests as top #Indonesian political leaders announce a moratorium on new #palmoil and #mining permits across the country. Thanks @LeonardoDiCaprio for your ongoing support of this important work. This announcement is a huge step forward in the fight for #forests, #climate, #species and local #communities. Click the link in the bio to support the calls for the moratorium to deliver real change on the ground.
Media have reported that the ban includes a stop to all land clearing operations and a review of ongoing palm oil and mining operations in the area. “We’re still busy preparing the details of the moratorium. After the completion of this phase, we’ll release details of the next phase,” Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya said. “However, I can say that a moratorium on the expansion of palm oil and mining in the Leuser Ecosystem is set in stone,” he added.
In fact, the Indonesian palm oil moratorium comes days after president Joko Widodo announced a nationwide stop on palm oil and mining concessions in forest areas. Coincidentally – or not – the announcement comes less than a month after Leonardo DiCaprio visited the Southeast Asian country, raising awareness on the threats palm oil plantations and mining pose to the Leuser ecosystem. “This announcement is a huge step forward in the fight for forests, climate, species and local communities,” DiCaprio announced.
In Aceh, Indonesia, millions of people depend on the Ecosystem for their livelihoods, clean water and food. It is one of the most important tropical forests in the world and The Last Place on Earth where tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants share the same habitat. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation thanks our partners who work locally and globally to protect the climate, rainforest, endangered species and the human rights at risk in #leuserecosystem. This is a legacy our generation cannot afford to leave behind. Don’t let #ConflictPalmOil and corporate profits destroy one of the most important rainforests on the planet. #COP21 Photo: Lindsey Allen of www.ran.org.
A photo posted by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on
The actor’s commitment to conserving Sumatra’s biodiversity isn’t new. Through his philanthropic foundation, last year the actor donated 3.2 million dollars to Rainforest Action Network and Haka to protect the Leuser ecosystem.
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has contributed two million dollars to a fund to protect Virunga National Park in Congo from threats such as terrorism, the coronavirus and poaching.
For the first time in seventeen years, Iceland’s two main whaling companies won’t resume whale hunting. The announcement concerns this year’s season but could carry into the future.
The relationship between the coronavirus and wildlife is complex: while the pandemic may lead to a reduction in the illegal trade in wild animals, it may also encourage it in other respects.
The largest coral reef in the world is severely threatened by climate change, but researchers are developing strategies that could contribute to saving the Great Barrier Reef.
NGO Free the Bears has opened a mountain sanctuary for moon bears in Laos. With the government’s help, it aims to close all bile farms by 2022.
Seychelles have extended its marine protected area, which now covers over 400,000 square kilometres, an area larger than Germany.
The tapir was reintroduced into Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the country’s most at-risk ecosystem. The species can play a key role in the forest’s recovery.
One of Africa’s last and largest “tuskers”, Tim the elephant, died from natural causes after roaming Amboseli National Park for five decades and surviving multiple life-threatening attacks.