Forest Nature and Environment Aceh (HAkA)

Location: Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

HAkA is an Aceh based non-government organisation. Their name stands for Hutan, Alam dan Lingkungan Aceh (Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh). 

HAkA’s mission is to strive for a stronger and healthier Aceh. They believe this is created through an empowered civil society whose members contribute to the well-being of the province by participating in activities that enhance environmental function to provide clean air, water and earth and to sustain forests, rivers and oceans. Protecting and restoring all these elements is vital for community development and will result in a safer, more stable and peaceful Aceh that will benefit generations to come.

The vision of HAkA  is the long-term health of Aceh Province – socially, financially and environmentally. The vision is based on scientific evidence of environmental functions and identification of what nature needs to survive and prosper. Scientific assessment of the environment underpins their social and political analyses of how to bring people together to act to enhance as opposed to destroy environmental function. This integrated approach drives HAkA campaigns and is evident in their landscape protection and restoration projects.

Much of HAkA’s work focuses on the protection of the critical Leuser ecosystem on the island of Sumatra. The ecosystem consists of some 2.6 million hectares of diverse landscapes, 80% of which is in the province of Aceh. This globally unique ecosystem boasts Sumatra's most significant tropical rainforest remnant and is one of the richest representations of the biodiversity of Southeast Asia. Millions of people rely on the environmental services, particularly the water supplies, that the Leuser ecosystem provides. It is a major carbon sink, and the last place on earth where orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers still co-exist in the wild. Despite its special legal status as a National Strategic Area for its Environmental Protection Function, the Leuser Ecosystem is under severe threat from illegal oil palm and other plantations, logging, encroachment, mining and fires - all of which exacerbate the poaching pressure on critically endangered species.

The Orangutan Project has provided vital financial support and partnered with HAkA since 2012. Funds are mostly used to achieve the following four objectives:

  • Empower communities to politically and legally engage on the spatial plan
  • Field mobilisation to protect the Leuser ecosystem and uncover and monitor illegal activities
  • Boost legal capacity including engaging legal allies through existing networks to work with investigators and advocacy team
  • Enhance Communications and Campaign Outreach