Posted on 23 May 2019
Unfortunately, the habitat of orangutans within the potential corridor area are also scattered, these current conditions if left untreated without any clear intervention, would make their future existence vulnerable.
Communications Conservation Specialist
Borneo island is one of the largest islands in the world, it’s vast biodiversity and forest cover are among the reasons why it’s called the lung of the planet earth. Moving into the smaller part in the center of Borneo island called Sebangau Katingan Landscape that is encompassed of two national parks, Sebangau National Park
and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park
Sebangau National Park is a very unique area due to its massive amount of carbon stock reserved in the peat swamp forest and a pristine habitat of arguably the largest population of wild orangutan in the world with around 6.000 wild orangutans living healthily. In the upper side of Sebangau Katingan Landscape lies Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park which belong to be part of Heart of Borneo with massive biodiversity capacity.
Unfortunately, the habitat of orangutans within the potential corridor area are also scattered, these current conditions if left untreated without any clear intervention, would make their future existence vulnerable. Human and wildlife conflict will be eventually inevitable, as a result of the very nature of land use in the potential corridor itself. There are around 19 concessions with the permit for logging activities (8 companies are located in priority area), 26 palm oil plantations (10 plantations are located in priority landscape), and around 64 mining companies with 23 are existed in priority area. Furthermore, there are around three Forest Management Units (FMU) located in the potential Essential Ecosystem Area; FMU Katingan Hulu unit XVII, FMU Kahayan Hulu Unit XV and XVI and FMU Kahayan Tengah Unit IV.
Therefore, as the preparation to kick off an initiation for Katingan Kahayan Essential Ecosystem Area, several actions have been carried forward since the early 2018 by WWF and partners such as orangutan survey in the corridor between Bukit Baka Bukit Raya national Park and Sebangau National Park, based on the survey result, around 700 orangutans are currently living scattered in the corridor. Other actions were also taken such as survey on natural resource identification on FMU Katingan Hulu/ FMUXVII, study on Knowledge Attitude & Practice on the community within the corridor, and the initiation workshop to built same perception and understanding among related stakeholders.
The workshop succeeded in garnered the participants attention and willingness to move forward in establishing Essential Ecosystem area, the local government particularly the forestry services was very active collaborated in jotting down the draft of the establishment of task forces for the initiation of essential ecosystem area.
After several revisions, the decree of taskforce on the initiation of the establishment was finally signed by the Governor of Central Kalimantan. WWF acted as the secretary, while Provincial Forestry Service acted as the taskforce lead and co lead by Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA). Members of the taskforce are diverse range from related government intuitions, NGOs, private sectors and scholars. Immediate followed up action was carried out in May 7th
, 2019, the first meeting was held for work plan preparation.
Some of the concerns during the meeting are the possibility of Central Kalimantan as candidate for the new capital of Indonesia and the potential corridor shall not change provincial spatial planning and must address the needs of local community both economically and socially. The Essential Ecosystem Area will be designed to protect both wild life and to provide economic benefit for the local communities and hold up to the values of protection, preservation and cultural identity. There will be regular meeting to follow up the initiation of Essential Ecosystem area with smaller Focus group discussion addressing different issues. This is an important milestone for collaborative efforts in protecting biodiversity and human all together.