GOVERNMENT POLICY NEWS
November 30, 2018
Orangutans still at home in Sungai Putri landscape
JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - A logging concession (PT MPK) covering an area equivalent to 37 thousand football fields (after being legally-delineated on the ground) which lies in the Sungai Putri landscape has proven to be one of the last remaining havens for the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan.
This is thanks to the fact that the majority of the concession’s land cover at present still consists of relatively intact peat forests, accounting for the equivalent of 30 thousand football fields, or more than 80% of the total concession.
Nonetheless, some land cover changes have recently been identified in this concession, forming the focus of an ongoing investigation by a law enforcement team ordered by Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya at the beginning of this week (Nov 26).
This was conveyed by the Ministry’s Secretary General Bambang Hendroyono (Nov 28) during an update he delivered on the land cover situation in the MPK logging concession.
“The Bornean orangutans are still living within the logging concession and enjoying the good peat forest cover that predominates there,” he explained.
The PT MPK logging concession constitutes a major part of the Sungai Putri landscape situated in West Kalimantan’s Ketapang regency.
The following photos show how the majority of the PT MPK logging concession still comprises good peat forest cover which continues to play host to Bornean orangutans, a point repeatedly emphasized by the secretary general.
Meanwhile, with regard to the recent land cover changes in the logging concession, Hendroyono pointed out these have happened in scattered spots within the concession’s boundaries, making up fewer than 4% of the total relatively intact peat forests in the concession.
The secretary general went on to present a map which is serving as the basis of the law enforcement team’s ground investigation of these land cover changes (delineated in white), as seen in the satellite image below.
He stressed that the results of the investigation currently underway will be revealed, whatever the outcome, including both technical evidence and the possible need for law enforcement actions.
Hendroyono then elaborated on the concerns the Environment and Forestry Minister has about this particular issue.
“Our minister has explicitly stated that it is of utmost importance to ensure the Bornean orangutans continue enjoying the good peat forest cover which blankets most of the PT MPK concession.”
As to the few spots where minor illegal logging offences previously took place in and around the logging concession, this matter was handled swiftly and efficiently with the perpetrators already having been caught by the ministry’s law enforcement team.
As previously reported by foresthints.news, evidence was found of just a single active fire spot in the PT MPK concession this year. This news portal subsequently reported in late August 2018 that this fire had been quickly extinguished.