Jardines Caught Clearing Forest NOW in Rare Orangutan Habitat

Sydney Jones

Press Secretary

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Carole Mitchell

Sr. Director Communications

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Jardines Caught Clearing Forest NOW in Rare Orangutan Habitat

New Satellite Imagery Shows October 2021 Clearing

Mighty Earth has exposed a new threat to the rarest great ape on the planet, and the world is watching. The critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan of northern Sumatra was just identified in 2017 and fewer than 800 exist in the world, but satellite imagery from the past two weeks shows their habitat being eaten away by deforestation.

Since 2018, the Martabe gold mine in northern Sumatra has been owned by United Tractors, through Astra International, a subsidiary of British conglomerate Jardine Matheson. And Since February of this year, the company has been in talks over a plan to conduct an impact assessment of the gold mine on Tapanuli orangutan habitat — but while talks have dragged on for months, this new evidence shows deforestation continuing the whole time. The investigation was covered by the Financial Times.

“One could look at the continued expansion and it suggests they are engaging in bad faith. This is a species on the brink of extinction.”
— Amanda Hurowitz, senior adviser with Mighty Earth

“[I am] surprised and disappointed. While you are negotiating, they are continuing to fight and gain advantage. From what what I can see, there is significant clearance of what was natural forest.”
— Ian Redmond, biologist and conservationist known for his work with great apes

When the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) was identified in 2017, it was the first time since the 1920s that a new species of great ape had been discovered. The 1100 sq km Batang Toru Ecosystem is their only home. It is also home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, pangolin and helmeted hornbill. Sun bears, tapir, serow and a host of other rare endangered species, including more than 300 bird species, also rely on this habitat.

In all recorded human history, no great ape has been made extinct. This is one of humanity’s closest relatives, and we now have only a small window left before it’s too late to save them.

Palm Oil Report 44
Protected: Avoiding forests, protecting people, and electrifying vehicles
Monitoring Report: Mayawana Persada