Leuser Ecosystem: A Timeline towards Protection

How close are we to protecting the Leuser Ecosystem?

We’re working on it… However, much remains to be done to achieve meaningful protection.

  • As a result of a strong civil society movement within Aceh, precedent setting legal cases, and direct engagement by Canopy brand partners, the Governor of Aceh did not implement a disastrous spatial plan that was imminent in 2014. If it had proceeded, the plan would have fragmented the Leuser Ecosystem with a vast network of roads, logging, mining, energy projects, and eucalyptus and palm oil plantations. That Spatial Plan is now under formal review by the Aceh Parliament.
  • As a result of strong support by fashion brands and viscose producers, Canopy built a direct dialogue with the senior leadership team of one of Indonesia’s largest logging companies, who own logging tenures in the Leuser Ecosystem. This dialogue enabled Canopy and our ENGO allies to stop illegal logging and secure a moratorium on logging operations in 100,000 hectares of key elephant and orangutan habitat in the heart of the Leuser Ecosystem. Canopy is now working to support negotiations between this company, our local NGO partners and government officials to ensure these logging tenures are transferred into conservation licenses.
  • Canopy looks forward to building the foundations of a conservation based economy with local political decision makers, community leaders, civil society actors and business leaders.

A glimpse at our timeline towards securing long lasting protection of the Leuser Ecosystem.


  • Canopy brands directly engage the Governor of Aceh to express concerns about the recently launched, controversial Spatial Plan and to encourage him to conserve the Leuser Ecosystem.


  • Canopy brands visit the Leuser Ecosystem to bear witness first hand.
  • The Governor of Aceh holds on implementing Aceh’s controversial Spatial Plan.


  • Indonesia’s Minister of the Environment and Forestry, along with Achenese leaders, declared a landmark moratorium on new palm oil and mining concessions in the Leuser Ecosystem. The two levels of government, acting on a directive from the President, also announced that there would be no more land clearing in this forest landscape while a permit review is underway.


  • Canopy introduces carbon-offsetting company to local NGO allies and regional governor of a critical region of the Leuser Ecosystem. This “Regent” enacts a moratorium on any new industrial development in favour of conservation and carbon offsetting.


  • Canopy hosts a delegation of key Aceh political decision makers, for a Conservation Economy Tour of the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada to witness first hand how economy can rhyme with conservation. The five-day tour highlighted how conservation financing helped secure large-scale conservation and advance local, green economies in the Great Bear Rainforest.The intensive knowledge exchange with provincial legislators, First Nations leaders, and finance, business and philanthropic executives was very successful. The Aceh delegation committed to establish a conservation-based economy to save The Leuser Ecosystem.


  • Canopy is working with local government leaders, local NGO allies and international brand partners to start building the foundations of a conservation economy for the Leuser Ecosystem.

Sign the petition to support protection of the Leuser Ecosystem.


photo credit: Paul Hilton