Addressing participants of a national seminar on The Management of Natural Resources, Forestry and the Environment in Aceh Province, held by Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh on 12 March 2015, Prof. Dr. Ir. San Afri Awang MSc (Head of the Research and Development Agency under the Ministry of Forestry) said that the tiger population in Aceh province and the surrounding area has continued to decline. In 1999 there were 500 tigers in Aceh and the surrounding area. However, only 150 remained as monitored in 2009-2013.
He added there are 3.5 million hectares of forests in Aceh including Gunung Leuser National Park, which is facing challenges. Many forest areas currently contain non-forest facilities and infrastructure. There are roads, settlements and schools. It is, therefore, the duty of the government to make a re-arrangement.
(An excerpt from Analisa daily newspaper, 13 March 2015. Translated by Joseph Harvey)