The race to conserve the most critical forests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra began years ago.
We saw a rate of destruction unmatched around the world. Part of the Emerald of the Equator, full of lush rain forests, rolling green hills and unbelievable biodiversity, it was disappearing-and fast.
Legitimate businesses, as well as illegal loggers, cleared large swaths of land and replaced them with pulpwood, rubber and palm oil plantations, among other commercial agriculture. The clearing meant Sumatra's rain forests were disappearing at the fastest rate in the world.
Sumatra's indigenous communities, along with critically endangered species like elephants, tigers and orangutans, saw their essential resources like food, fresh water and shelter begin to vanish.
© The Orangutan Project