JAKARTA — The survival of critically endangered wildlife like Sumatran orangutans and tigers and the livelihoods of Indigenous communities might be in jeopardy as the Indonesian government plans to establish large-scale agricultural plantations overlapping with their forests, activists warn. Under the so-called food estate program to boost domestic production, the government plans to establish millions of hectares of new farmland, mostly for rice and other staple crops. Among the regions targeted by the program is North Sumatra province, home to a number of conservation areas teeming with wildlife species. This past October, President Joko Widodo launched the program in North Sumatra, with a plan to establish 60,000 hectares (148,000 acres) of agricultural fields in four districts. The official map of the food estate program shows at least four conservation areas that fall within the planned plantation sites. They are Subulussalam Forest Park, Siranggas Wildlife Sanctuary, Sikice-Kice Nature Park, and Sijaba Hutaginjang Nature Park. The map, drawn up by the conservation department at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, identifies a number of wild animal and plant species that are found in the conservation areas, including tigers, orangutans, pangolins, honey bears, deer, hornbills, pangolins, and orchids. According to the map, the planned food estates overlap with 39% of the region’s known Sumatran tiger habitat and 8% of Sumatran orangutan habitat. Dana Prima Tarigan, the North Sumatra chapter head of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), singled out the Siranggas sanctuary as being particularly vulnerable. It’s home to 16 protected mammal…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer