The Oscar-winning actor criticised the country's palm oil plantations while visiting the Sumatran rainforest
Despite reports that he had been banned from returning to Indonesia after posting a picture to his Instagram account criticising the palm-oil cultivation in Sumatran rainforests, a government minister is now denying that Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been banned by the state.
Over the weekend, the Associated Press newswire claimed that Heru Santoso, spokesman for the directorate general for immigration at Indonesia’s law and human rights ministry, as having said the recent Oscar-winner was no longer welcome to return.
“We support his concern to save the Leuser ecosystem,” Santoso reportedly said, “But we can blacklist him from returning to Indonesia at any time if he keeps posting incitement or provocative statements in his social media.”
These comments came only a week after the Indonesian immigration director-general Ronny Sompie threatened to deport DiCaprio, a long-time environmental activist, despite the actor having already left Indonesia at the time.
The lowland #rainforest of the Leuser Ecosystem are considered the world’s best remaining habitat for the critically endangered Sumatran #elephant. In these forests, ancient elephant migratory paths are still used by some of the last #wild herds of Sumatran elephants. But the expansion of Palm Oil plantations is fragmenting the #forest and cutting off key elephant migratory corridors, making it more difficult for elephant families to find adequate sources of food and water. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting local partners to establish a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem, last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild. Click the link in the bio to stand with @haka_sumatra as they fight to protect the Leuser Ecosystem. #SaveLeuserEcosystem #Indonesia
A photo posted by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on
Now another government minister has praised DiCaprio’s visit to highlight the perilous future of Sumatran wildlife, including elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and tigers, while refuting any likelihood that The Revenant star would be refused entry to the country.
Speaking to ForestHints.news, environment and forestry minister Siti Nurbaya said: “My view is that DiCaprio’s concerns are both sincere and substantial, and he has certainly acted in good faith. In fact, we largely share his concerns on this matter.
“In light of this and to reciprocate his sincerity and good intentions, I am open to working together with DiCaprio in a joint effort whereby both of us can have our concerns addressed, including those that pertain to the Leuser Ecosystem.”
The environment minister went on the reveal in the interview that an official from her department has joined DiCaprio during his trip to see orangutans in Gunung Leuser National Park.
The actor has revealed that he wants to create a “mega-fauna sanctuary” in the park, which consists of more than 6.5m acres of rainforest. In his Instagram post, the actor expressed serious concerns over the role of palm oil plantations on the parkland, which he claims are “cutting off key elephant migratory corridors.”