On the same page. On Saturday, April 2, Indonesia's minister of the environment and forestry, Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, voiced her appreciation for Leonardo DiCaprio’s passionate tweets about the nation’s ailing rain forests.
While the 41-year-old environmental activist’s comments resulted in a possible ban on him entering the country in the future, Bakar made it clear that she shares the Oscar winner’s concern over Indonesia’s palm oil plantations putting its natural wildlife at risk.
“My view is that DiCaprio's concerns are both sincere and substantial, and he has certainly acted in good faith,” the minister told ForestHints.news on Saturday. “In fact, we largely share his concerns on this matter. In light of this and to reciprocate his sincerity and good intentions, I am open to working together with DiCaprio in a joint effort whereby both of us can have our concerns addressed, including those that pertain to the Leuser Ecosystem.”
When DiCaprio visited the Indonesian island of Sumatra last month, he took to social media to tell fans that the palm oil industry was destroying species in the Leuser Ecosystem such as Sumatran elephants, tigers and orangutans. He explained that these animals were dying due to the slash-and-burn techniques that plantations regularly employ to clear portions of the rain forests.
A world-class biodiversity hotspot, the #Indonesian Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important areas of intact #rainforest left in Southeast Asia. Its forests are home to the densest remaining populations of the critically endangered Sumatran #orangutan. But Palm Oil expansion is destroying this unique place. Now is the time to save the Leuser Ecosystem. We must develop a permanent solution to protect and restore this valuable natural asset. Click the link in the bio to stand up and #SaveLeuserEcosystem. #Indonesia
As Us Weekly previously reported, Heru Santoso, a spokesperson for the Indonesian government, fired back at the Titanic star’s posts by threatening to bar him from ever stepping foot in the nation again, according to the Associated Press.
"We support his concern to save the Leuser ecosystem," Santoso said on April 2. "But we can blacklist him from returning to Indonesia at any time if he keeps posting incitement or provocative statements in his social media."
However, Bakar finds no problem in DiCaprio’s efforts to help Indonesia’s ecosystem.
“There was even an official from my ministry serving in the province who accompanied DiCaprio on his visit, in particular when he went to see the orangutans in the Gunung Leuser National Park,” she added to ForestHints.news. “It’s really not relevant to link the concerns conveyed by DiCaprio with immigration matters.”
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