by Fidelis E. Satriastanti for Mongabay
The Indonesian environment ministry has denied the Aceh provincial government’s proposal to rezone part of Mount Leuser National Park for geothermal development, reacting to opposition from conservationists who argued the project would threaten key orangutan and rhino populations.
The ministry’s director for protected areas told Mongabay that the ministry had rejected a letter from Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah asking that a section of the park’s “core zone” be changed to a “utilization zone” so that a Turkish company, Hitay Holdings, could develop geothermal there.
“The minister received the letter but from socialization and [public] consultation, the result was disagreement with the rezoning, so that’s that. [The plan] stops there,” Tachrir Fathoni told Mongabay last week on the sidelines of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu.
“We would support geothermal to be outside conservation areas. This should be the priority,” Fathoni said, adding that the government needed to find ways to harmonize national interests with conservation efforts.
This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of Mongabay.com and can be viewed in its entirety here.