2015 — February

Tropical Rain Forests

Jackie is a kind of a superstar in Gunung Leuser National Park – the largest wilderness area in South-East Asia and the UNESCO World Heritage site. She is Sumatran Orangutan, the one of critically endangered large gentle extant great apes, being one of humankind’s closest relatives sharing nearly 97% of the same DNA. Their name derives from two Malay words “orang” a “person” and “hutan” a “forest”, what literally means “the person of the forest”. Native to Malaysia and Indonesia, orangutans are currently found only in the rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra. Jackie was born in orangutan sanctuary Bukit Lawang, a rehabilitation centre founded in 1973. Taught forest experience and released into the wild.


A century ago, almost 90% of Indonesia was covered by tropical rain forest. In 1997 only half was. Only in 2012 Indonesia lost 840,000 of hectares of its primary forest, two times more than Brazil the same time. Indonesia is the world’s third-largest producer of greenhouse gases, with 85 percent of its emissions coming from forest destruction. More than 80 percent of all deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia was due to clearance for oil palm plantations with demand for palm oil increasing sharply over the last few years.


With increasing deforestation and recent shift in palm oil consumption pattern into biofuel production, the future of Jackie is uncertain.



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