The core zone of the Gunung Leuser National Park (GNLP) is the last place on earth where four charismatic species (orangutan, tiger, elephant, and rhino) can still be found on the same place. In this area there is also a geothermal which can be developed as power plant for electricity.
On Tuesday, 23rd of August 2016 the GNLP authority held a meeting in Medan with representatives of Non-government Organisation (NGO's) to discuss possible participation of the NGO's for replanting of some area in the N.P., however, geothermal issue inside the N.P. dominated the discussion.
The meeting started with an explanation by the head of GNLP, Andi Basrul, and an expert staff of Minister of Environment and Forestry. The explanations followed by a question and answer session.
In the question and answer session, the 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient, Rudi Putra suggested to have a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of development of geothermal power plants inside the core zone of the GNLP.
Rudi also reminded that it was the desire of Acehnese formal leaders to protect the forest around the Gunung Leuser since long ago. In 1934 (during the colonial era) the Acehnese leaders struggled to protect the area around the Gunung Leuser because it was a “secret place” according the traditional believes in that time.
"Since 1934 this area has been declared to be maintained as a forest because it is considered a sacred pace that should not be cleared," said Rudi.
Some other NGO’s also articulated the importance of sustainable development instead of unsustainable short term development which will give negative impact for the local people.
Head of GNLP Authority, Andi Basrul, and Expert staff of Minister of Environment and Forestry, Sonny Partono.
Participant of the meeting in the meeting room of GNLP.
Rudi Putra, the 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient