Thursday, July 15, 2010

Orangutan Conservation

During the 2007 Climate Change Conference in Bali, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono announced the launching of Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan until 2017 which will provide new Protected Area for Orangutan.

In this connection, an International Workshop on Orangutan Conservation is held today and tomorrow in Bali, aiming to stabilize the habitat and populations of Orangutan by 2017, and to complete a three years-old rehabilitation program to release previously captive Orangutans back into the wild by 2015.

Please find below an article about this that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe.

A male baby orangutan drinks a bottle of milk at an animal nursery in Safari Zoo, Cisarua, Bogor, Indonesia in this file photo. Conservationists and animal rights activists have urged the Indonesian government to stop deforestation in order to protect rapidly decreasing orangutan populations.  (EPA Photo/Weda)
A male baby orangutan drinks a bottle of milk at an animal nursery in Safari Zoo, Cisarua, Bogor, Indonesia in this file photo. Conservationists and animal rights activists have urged the Indonesian government to stop deforestation in order to protect rapidly decreasing orangutan populations. (EPA Photo/Weda) 

Cooperation Urged to Bring Indonesia’s Dwindling Orangutans Back From Brink


Sanur, Bali. Conservationists, wildlife experts and government officials are set to meet today at an international conference in Bali to save the orangutan from extinction.

The International Workshop on Orangutan Conservation, which will run through Friday at the beachside resort town of Sanur, is aimed at stabilizing the habitat and populations of both the Sumatran and Bornean subspecies by 2017, as well as completing a three-year-old rehabilitation program to release previously captive orangutans back into the wild by 2015.

However, the chief of the Borneo Orangutan Survival foundation, Bungaran Saragih, on Wednesday said that very little progress had been made toward either goal.

“First, there are still no visible signs of stabilization of orangutan habitats or their populations,” he said.

“Second, the rehabilitation target is still far out of reach, because in the three years since the plan was announced, we haven’t seen a single individual released back into the wild.”

Part of the problem, Bungaran said, was the difficulty in finding suitably large, undisturbed areas of forest in which to release the animals.

“At BOS, we have around 850 orangutans in rehabilitation [centers], but we can’t release them precisely because of this problem,” he said.

Bungaran di d, however, say the international workshop was a step in the right direction and would allow all stakeholders to share their experiences on the current dire situation facing orangutan, as well as to evaluate actions taken thus far.

“Since 2007, there has been almost no coordination between the various stakeholders — the government, NGOs, the private sector,” he said.

“I believe that this opportunity to evaluate the implementation of the action plan couldn’t have come at a better time. Hopefully we can reach some kind of understanding and get the full cooperation of all stakeholders.”

According to Bungaran, one of the main obstacles toward realizing the action plan was the apparent reluctance of the government and private sector to get involved in orangutan conservation efforts.

“Protecting orangutans should not be the sole domain of NGOs,” he said. “We need support from the government and from businesses, and that’s the message we’ll try to get through at the workshop.”

There are an estimated 7,500 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild, and some 45,000 of their Bornean cousins. The latter subspecies is categorized as endangered, while the former is critically endangered.

Orangutan expert Sri Suci Utami Atmoko, from Jakarta’s National University, said that more needed to be done to protect the animals.

“The current quandary is in law enforcement,” she said. “There are just as many cases these days of illegal orangutan trading — particularly in Kalimantan — as there has always been.”

In terms of releasing rehabilitated orangutans into the wild, Suci said businesses needed to play a bigger role in the conservation effort.

“Consider this: nearly 70 percent of orangutans live outside protected parks and reserves,” she said, “so it’s crucial that we get the private sector to contribute their land and efforts, otherwise forget about protecting the orangutan.

“There’s this impression that only conservationists, scientists and the government should deal with orangutan conservation, but we want all stakeholders, particularly businesses, to contribute to the effort. The national action plan will never work otherwise.”

Suci said that many logging and plantation companies across the country wanted to help but were hampered by poor coordination by the authorities, which she accused of not being serious about designating conservation areas for orangutans.

“That’s a shame, because the companies are really keen about helping out, and we’d really like to welcome them on board,” she added.

Harry Santoso, director of biodiversity at the Ministry of Forestry, conceded that the orangutan release program was “going rather slow,” but blamed it on the dearth of institutions willing to contribute to the effort.

“It’s going to be tough to meet the 2015 target because there aren’t that many institutions in the country that deal with orangutan conservation,” he said. “That’s why we’re hoping for a breakthrough at this workshop.”

Harry dismissed accusations that the government had been dragging its feet on the issue of orangutan conservation by arguing that its job was to supervise, facilitate and regulate, and not to get involved in the implementation of programs.

“That’s why we’re focusing on strengthening the existing regulations, facilitating stakeholders and increasing supervision for orangutan conservation,” he said. “Our hope is that other stakeholders, such as the private sector and NGOs, also play a part.”

16 comments:

Jakarta said...

good info.
thanks for sharing.

H. Nizam said...

Jakarta,'
Thank you for dropping by.

umihoney said...

Apparently only the MGOs are doing their part. Hopefully the Indonesian govt. and the private sectors will contribute more henceforth.

umihoney said...

*NGOs (sorry typo)

H. Nizam said...

Hi Umi,
The event is sponsored by the Indonesian Department of Forestry supported by Indonesian Orangutan LSM. Private companies will also participate.

Yari NK said...

I always love great apes. They really look like us, uh I mean like me :D in some way. Unlike their great ape cousins, the chimp, the bonobo and the gorilla, orangutan is the only great ape that lives outside Africa. And according to the primatologists we are also their closest relatives.

Considering that we are also their close relatives how can we do something very nasty like destroying their habitat and killing them? Are we now the ones who are more savage than them?? :(

H. Nizam said...

HI Yari,
Many theories said that human beings are the closest relative of Orangutan. Whether or not we want believe it we must always take care of our nature. And I believe everything on earth has its purposes, and Orangutan stabilize the forest when they jump and hang on trees, enabling sun rays touch the land/soil.

colson said...

Pretty desperate and hopeless situation for our nephews, isn't it?

Seiri Hanako said...

orang utannya lucu banget deh
thanks ifonya ya

H. Nizam said...

@Colson,
The situation is hopeless indeed for them.

@Seiri Hanako,
Terima kasih atas kunjungan dan komentar anda.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Hope things work out alright, Harry.

Incidently computer problems are affecting my Blogger blogs at present.

If you would like to visit my http://anzacbloggersunite.blog.co.uk You may read some interesting news about NZ and Aussie.

H. Nizam said...

Peter/Kiwi,
Lately I have also faced problems with my comment, but seems okay.
Good to hear that you've got your own domain now. I'll check it.

Melissa said...

Great info, thanks for sharing. More should be done to preserve primates and their habitats.

H. Nizam said...

Melissa,
Yes, more rescue efforts should be made.

crazygoody said...

Read this article to see how reckless these companies are. Really sad. http://linkbee.com/FBP5B

H. Nizam said...

CrazyGoody,
Thank you for the information