Monday, May 3, 2010

Villagers against Elephants

Massive deforestation in the Island of Sumatera has driven endangered Elephants away from their habitat

This situation has caused several incidents between those elephants and local villagers as reported by Business Week (below).

I hope that President SBY would accelerate his plan to replant forest and stop deforestation, so that the elephants and other endangered species could stay in their own habitat, and would not bother local villagers.

Villagers threaten to kill elephants in Indonesia
JAKARTA-INDONESIA

Villagers in western Indonesia have threatened to kill endangered Sumatran elephants unless something is done to stop the animals from trampling their crops, a local official said Monday.

A group of six elephants has destroyed several acres (hectares) of crops in the Trumon Timur region of Aceh province in the past few weeks, said Lahmudin, a sub-district chief who like many Indonesians uses a single name.

He said the villagers are fed up and ready to get rid of the animals.
"The villagers wanted to poison the elephants but for now they are listening to my appeal to be patient," Lahmudin said.

Abu Bakar Chekmat, the head of Aceh's conservation agency, questioned whether the villagers had encroached on the elephants' habitat.
"It is difficult to say who is right or wrong between humans and the animals," he said.

He said a team would be sent to the area to investigate and see what could be done.
Only 3,000 Sumatran elephants are believed to remain in the wild, a number that dwindles each year with poaching.

14 comments:

Herdoni Wahyono said...

Elephant is rare animals and protected by law. The population is getting smaller. Life habitat damaged lots. They went out in search of food. To handle the necessary steps that wise and appropriate.

H. Nizam said...

Herdoni,
Yes my friend, serious efforts must be make to protect the forest as habitat of elephants.

Yari NK said...

It is a sad piece of news that our own greed that has led to the rapid deforestation. Now, the innocent and poor elephants are paying the price for something that they didn't do. And the villagers, well, what do they know about the importance of species saving, they are uninformed all they have in their mind is to save their lands and their crops from the raging elephants.

So, actions must be taken immediately to save the elephants and to inform the villagers upon the importance of the existence of wildlife. The loss of a species is the loss for all of us, for humanity...

H. Nizam said...

Yari,
The authorities especially forest authority should stop transforming officially protected forest into plantations and/or mining are.
They must also stop poaching of elephants by hunters.
The hardest thing would be to make villagers aware the importance of maintaining forest trees thus and ask them to limit cutting them. Because many of them live by selling woods and use woods for cooking.

pj said...

Just to take a contrary view its difficult to tell villagers not to cut the forest in order to develop it. After all those villagers need to support a lifestyle too.

Nice to keep the elephants around but perhaps the villagers see it as a "us or them" them situation.

I would not want to be the poor government guy tasked with this problem.

H. Nizam said...

PJ,
Yes, it is difficult to blame the poor villagers although they cut trees to sell wood and/or use them for cooking.
This problem might have been prevented if the Department of Forestry has not given license for transformation of protected forest to commercial plantations and mining.

Edwin's Personal Blog said...

Always sad everytime I hear such a news. It's a tragedy to the villagers and distressed elephants. It's a big sin to those who devastated the forests...

H. Nizam said...

Edwin,
It is very saddening indeed, but we cannot blame the villagers because they are actually threatened. The main cause of the problem is that the forest is getting smaller due to cutting of forest trees by those who are given license to do so by the government. The terrible thing was that many of those license were given on forest that are actually protected by the law.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Such deforestation is affecting wildlife in many parts of the world - even the noble elephant.

H. Nizam said...

Peter/Kiwi,
Unfortunately the forest were often blamed for this, while actually they are not the ones who caused the elephants runaway from their destroyed habitat.

Patria Gintings said...

But how can the government speed up forestation when they just allowed mining companies to operate in protected forest area?

Another contradiction in statements and regulations

H. Nizam said...

Hi Partia,
Thank you for dropping by.
The government's inconsistency in implementing laws and regulations has caused uncontrolled deforestation.

danielleyc said...

I love Elephants, there probably my favorite animals :)
I hope something can be done to save them :(

H. Nizam said...

Danielle,
Elephants can only be found in
few places of the world and their numbers are decreasing because their habitat i.e. the forest has been cut and destroyed. One way to help those poor creatures is by making people aware about the importance to maintain forest, thus minimizing use of forest products e.g wood, paper etc.