A world-class biodiversity hotspot, the #Indonesian Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important areas of intact #rainforest left in Southeast Asia. Its forests are home to the densest remaining populations of the critically endangered Sumatran #orangutan. But Palm Oil expansion is destroying this unique place. Now is the time to save the Leuser Ecosystem. We must develop a permanent solution to protect and restore this valuable natural asset. Click the link in the bio to stand up and #SaveLeuserEcosystem. #Indonesia
Leonardo DiCaprio is in hot water with the Indonesian government after a series of Instagram posts criticising the palm oil industry for its contributions to deforestation in the country, according to the BBC.
On Sunday, DiCaprio visited Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia, where he posted a series of photos of himself interacting with protected animals to his Instagram.
“The expansion of Palm Oil plantations is fragmenting the #forest and cutting off key elephant migratory corridors, making it more difficult for elephant families to find adequate sources of food and water,” was the post that accompanied one photo. In another, he blamed the palm oil industry for the deforestation threatening the Sumatran orangutan.
The lowland #rainforest of the Leuser Ecosystem are considered the world’s best remaining habitat for the critically endangered Sumatran #elephant. In these forests, ancient elephant migratory paths are still used by some of the last #wild herds of Sumatran elephants. But the expansion of Palm Oil plantations is fragmenting the #forest and cutting off key elephant migratory corridors, making it more difficult for elephant families to find adequate sources of food and water. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting local partners to establish a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem, last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild. Click the link in the bio to stand with @haka_sumatra as they fight to protect the Leuser Ecosystem. #SaveLeuserEcosystem #Indonesia
As the forest of the #Indonesian #LeuserEcosystem continues to be cleared to meet demand for Palm Oil, the critically endangered Sumatran #orangutan is being pushed to the brink of extinction. Here, at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme’s Orangutan Quarantine Center, rescued orangutans are rehabilitated so they can be released back into the wild. If we don't stop this rampant destruction, the Leuser Ecosystem and the Sumatran orangutans that call it home could be lost forever. Click the link in the bio to support this important work. #Indonesia
The Indonesian government didn’t approve of some of the comments. "If DiCaprio's posting in his social media can be categorised as incitement or provocation, we can blacklist him from coming back to Indonesia,” Heru Santoso, the spokesperson for the director general of the immigration department, told the BBC.
Palm oil, which is used in many snack foods and household products, is a huge industry in Indonesia. Last year, it exported about 33 million tons making it the world's top producer of the oil. Together, Indonesia and Malaysia produce about 80% of the global supply. According to financial firm PricewaterhouseCooper, the oil is the nation's third largest export earner.
But the nation’s economic health comes with an cost to the environment. The World Wildlife Fund found that clearing for the industry has destroyed critical habitat for many endangered species, including rhinos and elephants, two of the species that DiCaprio mentions in his posts.