Update: Indonesian Minister Offers To Work With Leonardo DiCaprio, Not Deport Him

Update: Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, minister of environment and forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, says Leonardo DiCaprio will not be deported if he comes to Indonesia. In fact, his concerns are similar to hers.

"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," Bakar told the Jakarta-based ForestHints.news during a summit on Indonesian climate change programs.

Bakar further elaborated that during DiCaprio's visit, an official from her ministry was with his party and characterized his comments as "not really relevant" to the concerns of immigration matters.

Bakar went on to offer to correct some misinformation in DiCaprio's posts regarding deforestation in regards to the palm oil industry and to hear his concerns. "Who knows, if DiCaprio is around New York when I’m at the U.N. Headquarters, perhaps we can catch up over a cup of coffee. I would take the opportunity to explain to him in greater detail about the efforts being undertaken by the Jokowi administration to address climate change issues," she told ForestHints.news, noting that she would be there on April 20 to discuss climate change.

This story was originally published on April 2.

Leonardo DiCaprio is in hot water with the Indonesian government after a series of Instagram posts criticizing the palm oil industry for its contributions to deforestation in the country, according to the BBC.

On Sunday, DiCaprio visited Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia, where he posted a series of photos of himself interacting with protected animals to his Instagram.

“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,” was the post that accompanied one photo. In another, he blamed the palm oil industry for the deforestation threatening the Sumatran orangutan.
The Indonesian government didn’t approve of some of the comments. "If DiCaprio's posting in his social media can be categorised as incitement or provocation, we can blacklist him from coming back to Indonesia,” Heru Santoso, the spokesperson for the director general of the immigration department, told the BBC.

Palm oil, which is used in many snack foods and household products, is a huge industry in Indonesia. Last year, it exported about 33 million tons making it the world's top producer of the oil. Together, Indonesia and Malaysia produce about 80% of the global supply. According to financial firm PricewaterhouseCooper, the oil is the nation's third largest export earner.

But the nation’s economic health comes with an cost to the environment. The World Wildlife Fund found that clearing for the industry has destroyed critical habitat for many endangered species, including rhinos and elephants, two of the species that DiCaprio mentions in his posts.

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