A sumatran rhino, orangutan, elephant and tiger

The Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund (LEAF): Protecting Sumatra’s iconic wildlife and rainforests

The Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia is a critical stronghold for Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos. Leuser also acts as a life support system for over 4 million people, and the carbon locked away in its peat swamp forests makes it a landscape of global climate significance.

The natural forests of Leuser are under immense and mounting threat from legal and illegal activities, and from radical land use plans which could see much of its natural resources and economic benefits irreversibly destroyed in just a few years.

In order to scale up our impact in the face of such urgency, SOS has launched the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund (LEAF). The LEAF will invest in a range of conservation strategies to secure the long-term preservation of this irreplaceable ecosystem, from frontline wildlife and landscape protection and restoration, to legal advocacy and sustainable development initiatives.


To secure the irreplaceable Leuser Ecosystem, protect the ecological services that sustain communities living adjacent to it, and prevent the extinction of Sumatran orangutans and other iconic species which share their habitat.


  • To prevent the extinction of the Sumatran orangutan and other iconic species
  • To protect biological diversity in the Leuser Ecosystem;
  • To protect and restore the integrity of, and ecological services provided by, the Leuser Ecosystem;
  • To promote the involvement of local communities in the conservation and sustainable management of the natural resources and biodiversity of the Leuser Ecosystem;
  • To act as a catalyst for strategic partnerships to enable enhanced conservation outcomes for Leuser;
  • To attract and leverage further contributions for the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem.


The Fund will support a multi-disciplinary approach to include biodiversity and landscape protection, sustainable development, legal advocacy and policy development to secure the long-term preservation of Leuser. The two priority thematic areas will be as follows:

  • Practical and pioneering wildlife and landscape protection and restoration measures within and adjacent to the Leuser Ecosystem.
  • Promoting economic activity in the Leuser landscape which is compatible with conservation, and creating the economic and political conditions necessary to ensure enduring protection.

Become a Guardian of Leuser

Join us in protecting the future of Leuser

Several visionary organisations and brave conservation champions are taking a stand to protect this uniquely precious environment from the many threats it faces, acting on the ground, with communities, through local political channels, and at the international level.

The Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund will provide strategic, targeted and flexible support, which will be invaluable in enabling these friends of Leuser to focus on growing the long-term impact of the programmes and strategies that offer the best hope for the security of this incredible ecosystem, and the countless lives and livelihoods which depend on its protection. 

Through enabling conservation efforts and impact to be scaled up in the face of such urgency, the LEAF aims to secure meaningful and durable conservation outcomes for Leuser.

We have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to securing a safe future for Sumatra’s rainforests, biodiversity and communities – a battle that can and must be won. Please join us.

For more information on LEAF and how to join our growing donor community, contact us via the following details:

Helen Buckland, Director
(+44) 01235 530825

An adult sumatran orangutan

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