Protecting Leuser to Safeguard Lives and Livelihoods
The Leuser Ecosystem is 6.5 million acres of rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the last place on Earth where Sumatran Orangutans, Rhinos, Asian Elephants and Tigers still live together in the wild. The pristine lowland forests, lush peat swamps and cloud-shrouded mountain forests are among the largest remaining intact rainforests in all of Indonesia. The Leuser Ecosystem includes six Key Biodiversity Areas—places critical to the persistence of biodiversity on our planet.
These rainforests are a carbon storage powerhouse and the source of drinking water and agricultural livelihoods for millions of people. The ecosystem, which is part of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot, is also the customary lands of the Gayo, Alas, Kluet, Aneuk Jamee and Karo Indigenous peoples.
The Leuser ecosystem is under constant threat from new palm oil plantations, roads, logging, poaching, mining, energy projects and paper plantations.
In response, a network of grassroots activists across the region have emerged to protect this wildland. Acting on the ground with communities, through local political channels and at the international level, these heroic and visionary guardians are taking a stand to protect this precious environment from the many threats it faces.
The Re:wild Solution
Re:wild, as the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, partnered with several committed philanthropists to create the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund (LEAF) to raise new resources to support these guardians of Leuser. Whether they are focused on orangutan rehabilitation and release, or working with Sumatran Rhino protection patrols to prevent poaching, support from the fund allows partners to scale up their work and focus on the long-term impact of their programs. Supporting this incredible group of dedicated organizations offers the best hope of protecting this irreplaceable ecosystem, the iconic species that live there, and the countless lives and livelihoods that depend on the survival and protection of Leuser.
Re:wild is also a partner of Sumatran Rhino Rescue, a groundbreaking partnership working under the strategic direction of the government of Indonesia focusing on relocating rhinos to establish a national conservation breeding program. Led by the government, the alliance’s goal is to increase the population to at least 80 individuals in at least two sites by 2025.