In the Province of Aceh, we aim to protect the remaining natural forest on private, state and community land with a specific focus on the Leuser ecosystem. In partnership with the provincial and district governments, palm oil and other companies as well as NGOs, we will develop and implement a green growth strategy that will directly support the conservation of the 2,6 million hectares Leuser ecosystem, while supporting the sustainable production of palm oil and other commodities.
Aceh’s Leuser ecosystem is one of the most biodiverse locations on Earth, home to Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers, rhinos and sun bears and many others. It also contains large areas of peatland some up to 8 m deep. And the province overall has a forest cover of more than three million hectares that acts as a significant carbon sink.
An estimated 4 million people rely on the water provided by the Leuser ecosystem.
Aceh is increasingly becoming an important producer of oil palm, rubber, coffee and other agricultural commodities. This is critical in reviving economic development. Yet agricultural expansion is going hand-in-hand with deforestation and degradation of the Leuser ecosystem and other forests.
Together with the Achenese government, palm oil, rubber and other companies, we find a balance between large scale commodity production and maintaining natural forest and peat ecosystems for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and use by local communities.
We currently focus on Aceh Tamiang and Aceh Timur districts. Our activities include:
|Total land cover||5.8 million ha|
|Total forest cover||3.2 million ha of which 2.6 million is in Leuser or Ulu Masen ecosystems|
|Aceh Timur||546,000 ha|
|Aceh Tamiang||215,000 ha|
|Forest loss 1996 – 2013||320,000 ha|
|Landscape features||highlands, mountains, tropical rainforest, Leuser ecosystem, rich in biodiversity|
|Main commodities||palm oil, rubber, forestry products, rice|
|Main causes of forest loss||deforestation for agriculture|
Further, we convene palm oil, rubber and other companies, government and communities around Leuser ecosystem to develop, implement, and monitor a participatory land-use and management plan with positive impact on community livelihoods, business performance, and forest protection.
IDH works at the market end, especially in Europe, to drive the uptake of the sustainably produced commodities in the landscape. Our market convening work also creates a stronger business case for the companies on the ground to produce more sustainably.
To drive the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, IDH and MVO (the Dutch Oils and Fats Industry) established the European Sustainable Palm Oil, or ESPO, project in 2015. The project was initiated to stimulate the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, and its objective is to achieve ‘100% sustainable palm oil in Europe by 2020’. ESPO works in close collaboration with various National Palm Oil Initiatives on sustainable palm oil, the RSPO and umbrella EU associations, such as Caobisco (confectionary), Fediol (refineries) and Imace (margarines), and connects to the green sourcing areas.
There are two kinds of companies: those that sell sustainable products... and those that will...