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As conservationist Paul van Nimwegan wrote for Conservation International, Sumatra’s biodiversity is at a critical juncture — widespread forest clearing, wildlife poaching and land-use intensification have put much of the island’s astonishing flora and fauna under considerable threat. About 12 million hectares of Sumatra’s vast forest ecosystem have been cleared in the past 22 years, a loss of nearly 50%–a threat to the island’s species like the Sumatran rhino, tiger, and elephant.
This is why it was a welcome announcement today that personal care brand Dove, in partnership with Conservation International, and in support of their collaboration with The Ministry of Environment and Forestry, will protect and restore 20,000 hectares of forest (an area approximately double the size of Paris) in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
Why This Matters: In addition to forest restoration and conservation, the Dove Forest Restoration Project is estimated to capture over 300,000 tons of CO2 from the air and avoid the release of over 200,000 tons of CO2e emissions.
This initiative also builds upon ongoing plans Dove is accelerating to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023 and net zero emissions from its products by 2039. Major beauty brands have the power to curb deforestation around the world, Dove’s announcement is a crucial step in realizing this potential.
The Specifics: The Dove Forest Restoration Project – which will target the South Tapanuli and Mandailing Natal districts – supports Conservation International in its agreement with the Indonesian Government to conserve and restore the region’s rich ecosystems and to promote the sustainable management of natural resources in ways that improve the livelihoods of the local communities.
In addition to sequestering and avoiding carbon dioxide emissions, the Dove Forest Restoration Project will contribute to biodiversity conservation in South Tapanuli and Mandailing and also contribute toward Indonesia’s larger targets for restoring forest and strengthening communities’ sustainable management of forest resources. The Dove Forest Restoration Project will:
Support local communities with the aim of improving the livelihoods of 16,000 people in the North Sumatra region.
Deliver biodiversity benefits such as the protection and restoration of habitats for many endangered species including the Sumatran Tiger, Sunda Pangolin, Sumatran Clouded Leopard, Malayan Tapir, Black Sumatran Langur and Sambar Deer.
Reestablished forest cover will also reduce the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and landslides.
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