By Tunggadewa Mattangkilang & Khara Kessek for the Jakarta Globe
Indonesian plantation and logging companies are increasingly balancing their profits and growth with environmental protection, according to industry players, activists and officials.
Companies in the two sectors have been blamed as key factors behind massive deforestation in Indonesia. Oil palm estates sprawl across around 8.5 million hectares in Indonesia, and that number is expected to rise by about 200,000 hectares a year over the next decade.
The industries have directly benefitted nearly a million people and contribute billions of dollars in revenue to the state. However, these growing sectors have brought people and wildlife into conflict more frequently. This also includes endangered and iconic species such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers.
On Tuesday, a tiger killed a rubber planter on the outskirts of the Batang Gadis National Park in North Mandailing district, North Sumatra.
Earlier this month, a plantation worker in Muaro Sebo village, Jambi, was also attacked by a tiger.
In Kalimantan and Sumatra, animal encroachment on human settlements and plantations has led to the slaughter and capture of countless orangutans.
Although there are no indications that such conflicts will decrease in frequency, companies are beginning to show their concern for the protection of wildlife and the environment, officials say.
On Wednesday, two logging companies operating in East Kalimantan, Sumalindo Hutani Jaya and Surya Hutani Jaya, announced that they were cooperating with the local authorities to form an orangutan rescue task force.
This excerpt from a news story appeared in and is courtesy of the Jakarta Globe. You can read the entire story here.