"This is a clear message to companies working in Aceh who think they can destroy protected forests and get away with it," Muhammad Nur, Chairman of WALHI Aceh (Friends of the Earth Indonesia), told Mongabay.
Indonesia, which has some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, is also home to some of the planet's most endangered species like orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants. Orangutans in particular need Indonesia's forests to survive -- they have been hit hard by deforestation from palm oil companies, whose product appears in many of the foods we eat every day.
Unfortunately, orangutans may not be out of the woods just yet. The company's lawyer has said that they plan to appeal the ruling. Nevertheless, environmentalist remain hopeful -- Graham Usher of the non-profit PanEco Foundation said that the ruling "represents one significant step in the right direction."
ACTION GUIDE: Endangered Species
Biodiversity loss and the extinction of rare species are one of the most important environmental problems today. Endangered species are identified by the IUCN Red List, the most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of species in the world. Using the Red List's extensive database, you can search a particular species, location, habitat or threat, and learn more about issues facing threatened species and how to help. WWF has a great list of ways to help save endangered species, like buying sustainable seafood, not buying "bad souvenirs" and fighting climate change.