SOS launches Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new fund to defend the incredible Leuser Ecosystem, with the backing of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Sarah Woodhead, and Ben Goldsmith.

The Leuser Ecosystem is an irreplaceable paradise – the last place in the world where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos roam together.

Filmmaker Joe de Kadt has created a beautiful film in tribute to Leuser, which was premiered at the launch of the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund (LEAF) last week.


With the backing of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Sarah Woodhead and Ben Goldsmith, over £600,000 was raised last week to launch the LEAF – which we will invest in a range of projects to support the long-term protection of Leuser, from frontline wildlife and landscape protection and restoration, to legal advocacy, conservation finance and sustainable development initiatives.

Helen Buckland, Director of SOS, said:

“The natural forests of Leuser are under immense and mounting threat. Several visionary organisations and brave conservation champions are taking a stand to protect this uniquely precious environment, acting on the ground, with communities, through local political channels, and at the international level.

The LEAF will be invaluable in supporting 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.”

On the success of the event, Sarah Wodhead and Ben Goldsmith said:

“We are so happy to have been able to raise these much needed funds for the launch of LEAF (Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund) which will go to the most effective groups and individuals fighting to save this amazing place for future generations.”


About the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund (LEAF):

The Leuser Ecosystem in northern Sumatra is the last place in the world where Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers still co-exist in the wild. All four species are Critically Endangered. 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.

Naturally the Leuser Ecosystem is not without its defenders. 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 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.

Zac Mills

Get SOS email updates

Donate Subscribe