Conservation Commentary: Privatizing Indonesia’s Conservation Efforts

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photo of rainforest from the Orangutan Conservancy archives

Erik Meijaard & Gabriella Fredriksson in the Jakarta Globe

The Indonesian conservation authorities have been quietly experimenting with the privatization of conservation management, a plan announced by the Forestry Minister in 2010. There is an urgent need to expand this experiment.

Presently, not much is working well in Indonesia’s protected area and threatened species management. A study in the Indonesian Journal of Conservation showed that Indonesia’s protected areas lost an additional 2.6 percent of their forest cover between 2000 and 2010. Other studies show protected areas all over Indonesia are losing species, such as orangutans, and a myriad of fish and corals, at very high rates.

People living in and around Indonesia’s protected areas often tell us that the legal monitoring of the area has no relevance to them. Communities habitually ignore regulations, and use the land for agriculture, hunting, uncontrolled fishing or other purposes. For all they care, protected areas might as well not exist.

A 2012 study in the journal Conservation and Society shows that communities are often supported by local politicians and opportunistic schemers who consider the protected areas to be a constraint on economic development. In doing so, they ignore or are oblivious to the often vital environmental services that these areas provide.

In short, protected area management in Indonesia is in serious trouble.

This excerpt from an opinion piece appeared in and is courtesy of the Jakarta Globe and can be read in its entirety here.

 

 

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan News: Universal Studios Theme Parks Agree To Stop Using Primates On Stage

 

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YouTube image of orangutan in show

by Stephen Messenger of The Dodo

In a historic move that reflects a positive change in how society regards our primate cousins, the last remaining exhibitor to still force orangutans to act as stage performers in the United States has agreed to end the exploitative practice.

Following pressure from various animal rights organizations, Universal Studios, with theme parks in Hollywood and Orlando, announced it will remove all primates from its live “Animal Actors” stage shows.

The performances, advertised by the theme park as “Tinseltown-trained critters putting pet tricks to shame with their animal antics,” features a variety of species paraded before cheering audiences. Unlike some animal shows purport be of some educational value, Animals Actors made no such claim.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of The Dodo and can be read in its entirety here.

The Orangutan Conservancy applauds NBC/Universal and their Universal Theme Parks for joining the growing number of entertainment companies who are pledging to stop using primates in their productions.  We hope this extends to their films and television shows in the near future as well.

posted by: Tom

 

Orangutan News: Shrinking Forests Hamper Orangutan Release

A three-month-old Orangutan baby peeks out from inside a wooden box in East Kutai, East Kalimantan, on Dec. 9, 2011 after being rescued after separated from its mother. (AFP Photo/Firman)

A three-month-old Orangutan baby peeks out from inside a wooden box in East Kutai, East Kalimantan, on Dec. 9, 2011 after being rescued after separated from its mother. (AFP Photo/Firman)

by Tunggadewa Mattangkilang for the Jakarta Globe

Balikpapan. Ten orangutans have been released back into the wild in East Kalimantan after recovery in the Samboja Lestari rehabilitation center.

The six female and four male orangutans were set free in the Kehjesewen conservation forest in the East Kutai district of East Kalimantan on Thursday by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (Yayasan BOS).

“In 2014 we began our program by releasing 10 orangutans back into the wild. We are optimistic that we will be able to release more orangutans into their natural habitat — but this has to be supported by the existence of quality, safe forests,” said Samboja Lestari program manager Agus Irwanto.

Agus said the BOS was committed to achieving the release target set up in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Action Plan for 2007-2017, announced by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during the climate change conference in Bali in 2007. The plan calls for all orangutans in rehabilitation centers to be released back into their natural habitats by 2015.

Agus said that so far the BOS had released 31 orangutans back into natural forests. But more orangutans could be released if deforestation was halted, he said.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of the Jalarta Globe and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom

 

Conservation Commentary: Indonesia’s Orangutan Action Plan a Bad Joke

photo by Tim Laman from the Orangutan Conservancy archives

photo by Tim Laman from the Orangutan Conservancy archives

by Erik Meijaard  in the Jakarta Globe

In December 2007, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched Indonesia’s Strategy and Action Plan for National Conservation of Orangutans. Quoting the president from his speech, “this will serve as a blueprint for our efforts to save some of our most exotic but endangered wildlife.” Furthermore, the president said that “the Orangutan action plan formally endorses Indonesia’s commitment to orangutan conservation as expressed in 2005 when Indonesia signed the Kinshasa Declaration on the Protection of Great Apes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

And a final quote: “A key understanding that stems from this Action Plan is that to save orangutans, we must save the forests. And by saving, regenerating, and sustainably managing forests, we are also doing our part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, while contributing to sustainable economic development of Indonesia. Successful orangutan conservation is the symbol of responsible management of the earth’s resources.”

Excellent stuff. Finally a ray of hope for Indonesia’s endangered species.

We are now over six years into the 10 years action plan, so signs of progress should be easy to find. The action plan commits Indonesia to stabilizing all wild populations by 2017. With habitat loss and hunting being the main threats, this simply means that all remaining wild orangutan populations should either be incorporated in formally protected areas or other compatible land uses, such as sustainably managed timber concessions, and that conservation laws should be enforced.

This excerpt from a commentary piece appeared in and is courtesy of the Jalarta Globe and can be read in its entirely here.

 

 

posted by: Tom