Today WWF launched a new initiative aimed at assisting the people of Aceh in reconstructing their province after it was destroyed by the tsunami last year. (Disclosure: I work for WWF-Australia)
It’s been four months since vast amounts of aid was promised to tsunami affected countries, and a large amount of that has not been distributed. The Timber for Aceh initiative is the first of a number of steps seeking to get some of that money into action. The plan is to supply sustainably-sourced timber to Aceh to support the reconstruction effort in one of the hardest-hit regions.
I must admit that I was initially a bit concerned about having conditions on aid, until I started reading about the big issues that would arise for the people of Aceh if reconstruction wasn’t carried out in a sustainable way. From the natural forest behind Aceh to the impact on fishing communities, the protection of the environment seems critical to the future of Aceh. Not to mention building up resilience to future extreme natural events.
Reflecting this, the acting governor of Aceh, Azwar Abubakar, recently called for Aceh to be rebuilt as a green province. Plans are already underway to source appropriate timber for the reconstruction effort.
The comms team in Sydney have been working solidly on this for the past couple of weeks, and we’re waiting to see how much it gets picked up in the media and on the net.
- WWF-Australia Q&A
- National Geographic
- ABC: The World Today (incl. interview with WWF’s Ralph Ashton)
The other reason it’s important is things like this.