Illegal forest clearing spotted in Aceh’s biggest peat swamp

Encroachers have been clearing forest at three locations in Aceh’s biggest peat swamp since February, analysis of Landsat satellite imagery by environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia shows. 

The Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, on the western coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province and the island of Sumatra, is home to the densest population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser Ecosystem. 

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the deforestation, but encroachment for oil palm happens frequently in the area, and Greenomics suspects that is probably the case here. 

Greenomics Executive Director Vanda Mutia Dewi said she had submitted a formal complaint to the Environment and Forestry Ministry. 

Greenomics confirmed the findings with a field check in May.

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