Bali, Indonesia – GITI Tire Corporation, is donating $1 million for conservation projects in northern Sumatra (Indonesia) and the Mountains of Southwest China in a partnership agreement with Conservation International (CI).
The program will protect habitat of threatened species such as the Sumatran orangutan in Indonesia and pandas in southwest China and replant forest areas while helping reduce levels of atmospheric carbon that cause climate change. For the first year, the investment will offset the corporation’s overall carbon emissions in 2008.
Half the GITI money – $500,000 U.S. – will support CI Indonesia's Northern Sumatra project to protect tropical forest that is home to the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and other threatened species.
"GITI Tire has pledged the money for conservation and to empower local communities to increase rubber production in the buffer zone of the proposed Batang Toru conservation area in northern Sumatra," said Enki Tan, the company director. "We believe that supporting the livelihoods of people living in the buffer zone will prevent forest destruction in the Batang Toru protected area."
"This collaboration is an important step in bringing more private sector investment for conservation programs in Indonesia," said Dr. Jatna Supriatna, the CI regional vice president for Indonesia. "We hope that the communities benefiting from better livelihoods in the buffer zone will support our conservation efforts for the orangutan in the wild."
The rest of the GITI money will support CI's China affiliate, the Shanshui Center for Nature and Society, in replanting 60 hectares of native forest, along with conserving wetlands and watersheds while benefiting the livelihoods of local communities in the Mountains of Southwest China.
"This is an innovative investment that recognizes the combined value of multi-faceted ecosystem services and the contributions of local communities to conservation in very remote areas of China," said Dr. Lu Zhi, the director of CI-Shanshui.
GITI has previously supported CI’s work, bidding $480,000 at the Monaco Blue Auction in September 2007 to help develop Marine Protected Areas in the Raja Ampat region of Indonesia's Papua province.
Phoebe Lam, GITI Tire (China) Investment Co. Ltd, +86 21 22073333
Diah Sulistiowati, CI Indonesia, email@example.com, +62 21 78838626