Tripa Swamp Protection
Tripa is an area of 61,803 hectares on the west coast of the province of Aceh in North Sumatra. Four large-scale palm oil companies covering most of Tripa are destroying the forest, burning the peat and opening canals to install palm-oil plantations. Tripa hosts unique biodiversity and holds great importance for the local people. It is also by far the largest unprotected carbon stock in Aceh. The total destruction of Tripa’s remaining forest is predicted within less than five years if appropriate action is not implemented quickly.
Tripa is one of only six remaining populations for the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and one of the UNEP-GRASP priority sites for the species. It currently hosts around 280 Sumatran orangutans, accounting for more than 4% of the remaining world population. Tripa also has amongst the highest densities of orangutans anywhere in the world, which has facilitated a unique culture of tool use.
Tripa contains a huge amount of carbon; between 50 and 100 million tonnes. Tripa is normally a net carbon store; however, huge quantities of carbon are being released from peat degradation (burning, drainage and oxidation) because of palm-oil plantations.
TOP has provided Pan Eco with funding to help support the work involved with the conservation of the Tripa swamps. The extensive list of costs involved includes items such as equipment (camera, GPS, etc), transport costs, postage, Indonesian staff wages and conference fees.
Map of Aceh Province showing the location of the remaining coastal peat swamp forests, the Leuser Ecosystem (dark green), and the boundaries of the Gunung Leuser National Park (the large area in yellow).
Wild orangutan in the Tripa Swamp ecosystem