@celinaxchien for @rainforestalliance: The Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on Earth where tigers, rhinos, elephants, and orangutans co-exist in the wild. One of its greatest threats is the proposed construction of the 173m high Tampur megadam close to the small village of Lesten. Last year, I traveled to the proposed location of the dam; previously warned by locals that even the nearest village was very remote, I didn't expect to reach my destination easily. To my shock, I was met with slash-and-burn deforestation and a dirt road leading straight from the city to the riverside village of Pining. The dense forest that I expected from researched Google Earth images had been leveled in the short time since they were taken. Although the destruction was severe downstream, the long canoe journey upstream into the steep and mountainous region of the dam site showed there was still a substantial amount of pristine rainforest to be protected. There was still a battle to be won.
If this megadam project is to go forward, 4,000 hectares of this rainforest will be flooded, including Lesten village. It will invite catastrophic deforestation, extensive road construction, power line installation and human encroachment; all paving the way to further forest exploitation by agriculture, infrastructure and wildlife crime. The Tampur dam will displace 60 families, put 250,000 people downstream at risk of impoverishment and destructive flooding, and devastate some of the last lowland rainforests of South East Asia. Ultimately, it will destroy the Lesten river system, its biodiversity and all the neighbouring communities who rely on it for their livelihoods.
Take action. Stop the dam. Sign the @rainforestactionnetwork petition at lovetheleuser.org/tampurhydrodam or go the link in my bio at @celinaxchien
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