The sun was shining hot and scorching when VICE visited Tanjung Aman Village, Darut Hasanah District, southeast Aceh, early January 2022. The mangosteen and durian trees that thrived in the villagers’ gardens were not enough to ward off the heat.
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“Long ago, the air was still cool and cold, but now it’s hot,” said Adiansyah, a resident of Tanjung Aman Village. For a dozen years he has been pursuing a career as an illegal logger in Leuser forest. The middle-aged man unhesitatingly admitted that what he had done so many years ago had an impact on the sweltering weather he now routinely feels.
“How can the forest in this area not be deforested?” he told VICE. “lllegal logging activities have been ongoing sporadically for years.”