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Leuser Ecosystem Forest Restoration Project

The Leuser forests are the last stronghold of the Sumatran orangutan, but this critical ecosystem has been damaged by illegal deforestation.

Our team has planted over 570,000 seedlings in degraded forest areas across northern Sumatra in collaboration with local communities. We work to restore rainforest both inside the Gunung Leuser National Park and in the buffer zone on the outskirts of the protected area, widening and protecting the border of the park.

Recently over 6,000 illegally planted oil palms have been removed from inside the national park, and the area restored with indigenous rainforest tree seedlings, cultivated and planted with the help of a community farmers' group. These local residents are committed to the rehabilitation effort and actively work to protect the National Park from further encroachment.

Leuser Ecosystem forest restoration projectIn addition to forest rehabilitation, the project provides sustainable alternative livelihoods for local people living adjacent to the last remaining orangutan habitat. They benefit from the restoration of natural ecological services on which they depend, and also receive agroforestry and business development training.

SOS plans to expand this pioneering community-driven restoration model into the Aceh Tenggara district of the Aceh province in Northern Sumatra, using funds from Hope 4 Apes to construct new tree nurseries and provide essential training for more local communities.

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