Stand In Solidarity with the Aceh Citizen Lawsuit Movement

The Leuser Ecosystem is a globally important, high priority landscape for conservation. In addition to providing critical species habitat and storing massive amounts of carbon, the Leuser Ecosystem provides a host of environmental services to the region. Millions of people depend on it for their clean water supply, including for irrigation of rice fields, fisheries and industry. The intact forests of the Leuser Ecosystem also help prevent flooding and landslides, protecting hundreds of thousands of people, their homes and their assets.

Nine brave community members from Aceh have taken the fight to protect their home­­—the Leuser Ecosystem—to the courts in Indonesia.

Momentum is building as communities across Aceh join the Aceh Citizen Lawsuit Movement to support the courageous individuals who have filed a class-action lawsuit against Indonesia’s Minister of Home Affairs for his failure to reject the unlawful Aceh Spatial Plan.

Stand in solidarity and call for the cancellation of the Aceh Spatial Plan.

The Aceh Spatial Plan is a disastrous land use plan that, if approved, will open up large, critical swaths of rainforests in the Leuser Ecosystem to conversion into palm oil and pulp and paper plantations, mining and new roads. The Aceh Spatial Plan will seal destruction as its fate, which we cannot allow.

The stakes are high and the plaintiffs need you to have their backs as they stand up for the Leuser Ecosystem in the courts of Indonesia. Sign the petition today.


 Full Petition Text

Dear President Jokowi, Minister Kumolo, Governor Abdullah, and Chairman Muharuddin:

In recent months, Aceh has been struck multiple times by floods and landslides, displacing villages and threatening the lives and livelihoods of local communities. These natural disasters can be linked to the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem for industrial development.

The Leuser Ecosystem is a globally important, high priority landscape for conservation. In addition to providing critical species habitat and storing massive amounts of carbon, the Leuser Ecosystem provides a host of environmental services to the region. Millions of people depend on it for their clean water supply, including for irrigation of rice fields, fisheries and industry. The intact forests of the Leuser Ecosystem also help prevent flooding and landslides, protecting hundreds of thousands of people, their homes and their assets.

Local flood and landslide prevention efforts will be wasted if the Leuser Ecosystem is not protected. Major disasters await the people of Aceh and generations to come if destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem is allowed to continue.

One of the biggest threats to the Leuser Ecosystem is the Aceh Spatial Plan (2013-2033). This disastrous land use plan has been proposed by the government of Aceh without the inclusion of the Leuser Ecosystem as a National Strategic Area. If approved and implemented, the Aceh Spatial Plan will remove protections from large regions of forests within the Leuser Ecosystem and open up critical landscapes to large-scale industrial development, including more oil palm and pulp plantations, logging, mining and roads. Excluding the Leuser Ecosystem ignores Indonesian Law No. 26/2007 on Spatial Plan and Law No. 11/2006 on the Aceh Government.

In 2014 the Ministry of Home Affairs submitted their review and request to revise the Aceh Spatial Plan so that it includes the Leuser Ecosystem into the National Strategic Area. The revisions have yet to be made by the government of Aceh. Under Indonesian law, the Aceh government is required to revise the regulation in accordance with the evaluation from the Ministry of Home Affairs, and in the absence of appropriate revisions, the Minister of Home Affairs is required to formally revoke the spatial plan.

The fight to protect the Leuser Ecosystem has been going on for years and has involved thousands of people and many organizations in Aceh. Recently civil society in Aceh registered a class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Home Affairs for failing to uphold its authority to ensure protection of the Leuser Ecosystem in the Aceh Spatial Plan.

The international community stands in solidarity with the citizens of Aceh calling for the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem. We encourage you to protect the Leuser Ecosystem for future generations by formally canceling the Aceh Spatial Plan.

The Leuser Ecosystem is a rare and thriving tropical ecosystem that is critical to future generations, both within Indonesia and internationally as well. The current rush to destroy its last lowland rainforests and peatlands would enrich a few companies quickly, but would impoverish many local communities for decades to come. Further destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem will rob future generations of the chance to maintain and develop sustainable, forest-based livelihoods. Continued loss of its intact forests and peatlands will also fuel the global climate crisis and spell extinction for many of the iconic species that call it home.

Now is the time for all actors to come together to develop a lasting solution for Aceh that protects and restores its most valuable natural asset, the Leuser Ecosystem, secures peace and livelihoods and creates new economic opportunities for local communities. The cancellation of the Aceh Spatial Plan will allow a new spatial plan to be developed that is aligned with the interests and wellbeing of the people of Aceh.

Sign the petition

Will you sign?