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Government and Coalition fail to protect endangered orangutans

The Australian Greens today condemned the Government and Coalition for refusing to request the Indonesian government to fully enforce its law that protects the Tripa forest in Indonesia.

Reports that palm oil companies and Indonesian police have been intimidating villagers and clearing and burning the Tripa forests in Indonesia are shocking, the Australian Greens said today. The protected Tripa forest is home to the threatened Sumatran orangutan, and people have reported grave health problems from forest burning, as well as threatened livelihoods.

"It's incumbent upon Minister Bob Carr to explain why he's refusing to take up this matter with the Indonesians, especially since the Australian government is putting money into protecting forests in Indonesia and regularly talks to Indonesian authorities." Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne said.

"Australians love orangutans and will be alarmed at reports that the destruction of these forests could lead to local extinction of Sumatran orangutans by the end of this year.

 "It beggars belief that the Government and Coalition would not lend their support to the Indonesian government in stopping these destructive illegal activities."

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