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Jungle Mountain View

The Leuser Ecosystem

Two elephants splashing water

What is the Leuser?

The Leuser Ecosystem (Pronounced ' Low Sir') is a Tropical Rainforest situated on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. At six and a half million acres, it is one of the largest and most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. 

It is home to over 105 mammal species, 382 bird species, and 95 reptile and amphibian species and is the last place on Earth that Tigers, Elephants, Leopards, Rhinoceros, Sun Bears and Orangutans can be found living together in the wild. 

It is a UNESCO world heritage site and provides food and water for millions of people. Generations of people have depended upon this tropical rainforest to survive and its significance and importance for the health and stability of our global climate is internationally recognised. 

Why is it at risk? 

Despite being an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot and environmental treasure, as well as being protected by Indonesian Law, this tropical paradise is being decimated by unsustainable Human developments.

Large global companies and well known brands are driving the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem for commodities like Palm Oil. This natural ingredient can be found in over 50% of the products you see in the supermarket, everything from shampoo and lotions to cereal, crackers and cookies. 

The issue is, this cheap oil requires nutrient rich soil to grow, meaning companies are cutting down the Leuser in order to grow it. Indeed the corporate profits can be directly tied to the cutting down, burning, and destruction of the last intact rainforest and peatlands of Indonesia. 

This combined with developments such as new roadways and communities is leading to species extinction and habitat destruction at a never before seen rate and scale. 

ARC Ranger in the Jungle

What we are doing..

We believe that young people hold the key to a more sustainable future for all. That's why we are working with Schools across North Sumatra to establish our brand new Ranger Teams throughout our target communities. 

These teams of young, passionate and driven individuals will gain the skills and knowledge they will need to one day become Rangers and work to protect and preserve the Leuser Ecosystem and all of the species of plant and animal that call it home. 

Each of our Junior Ranger Teams are led by experienced conservationists from the ATOVA staff team, with years of experience working to protect the tropical rainforest. These Atovans work alongside our Volunteer Instructors to deliver a comprehensive Ranger curriculum and training. 

Planting a Tree


As part of our commitment to protect the wild spaces of planet Earth, we work closely with our partners on the ground in Indonesia to not only protect the severely endangered tropical rainforest, but help it to regrow. 

This is achieved through our 'Reforestation' initiative. We invest a portion of the fees paid by our amazing volunteers into rewilding areas of jungle that have been destroyed by companies and Human activity. Additionally you can sponsor a metre of land for reforestation!

Utilizing state of the art digital mapping software and global data sets from our partners at Restor Eco and Gain Forest. We work with conservationists and scientists on the ground in Indonesia to regrow the tropical rainforest, in all its diverse majesty. 

Planting a Tree

Volunteer with us! 

Take a step out of your comfort zone and experience one of our life changing volunteer placements. It's time to realise your potential! 
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Our Philosophy

At ATOVA we are a values driven organisation, committed to the service of our people and our planet. 

Our Impact

Find out how our work impacts not only the natural world, and the communities we serve, but also our amazing volunteers! 
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