Dear Minister of Forestry of Republic Indonesia,
We, the undersigned, have learned from newspapers and other media that many new roads are proposed to be built through the heart of Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS), Sumatra and permission for these roads has been requested to Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia by the provincial governments of Jambi and Bengkulu.
If this news is true, we are very concerned because, according to Law No. 26 2006, Kerinci Seblat National Park has been designated as National Strategic Area and new roads and infrastucture cannot be built within the core zones of the park.
We fear that construction of new roads through TNKS will damage these world famous forests which are recognised internationally as one of the last hopes for wild tigers in the future. We read that more than 200,000ha of Kerinci Seblat National Park has already been damaged by illegal logging and forest clearance and the proposed new roads will lead to more forest loss and make it easier for hunters to poach tigers as well as increasing the threat of floods, landslides and other disasters.
We have read much about Indonesia's hard work to save the Sumatran tiger and to protect national parks such as Kerinci Seblat which has been recognised as a World Heritage national park and we are grateful to Indonesia for looking after these forests since the park was declared.
If Mr. Minister gives permission to open these roads, it will damage the forests where Sumatran tigers live and breed and our trust in the Government of Indonesia's promises to the world to protect wild tigers and one of the last great areas of tropical rainforest in Sumatra which can help protect us from global warming.
In addition, by granting permission to build roads through Kerinci Seblat Nationat Park then no National Park in Indonesia is safe from destruction in the name of development . All parties who feel advantaged by the opening of protected areas will be motivated to do the same as Jambi and Bengkulu provinces.
Therefore, we strongly hope that the Minister does not give permission or a recommendation for construction of roads through the core of Kerinci Seblat National Park, rejects these plans and notes they are against Indonesia protected areas law, Indonesia's interests and Indonesia's international committments to tropical rainforest and wild tiger conservation.