Posted on 12 July 2019
Quoting a statement from the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, wildlife crime cases become one of the largest cases in Indonesia and ranked third after the drug crime and human trafficking cases.
By: Agus Suyitno
Species Specialist, Kayan Landscape, WWF-Indonesia
The level of crime against protected wildlife in Indonesia deserves deep concern as findings continue to increase. Based on information from the Wildlife Crime Unit WCS IP, the number of protected wildlife crime cases increased sharply from 106 cases in 2015 to 120 cases in 2016 and to 225 cases in 2017. Wildlife trafficking did not only occur conventionally but also through online trade. From WWF Indonesia's records since 2017, there were 2,500 advertisements identified on Facebook, 2,207 advertisements on Instagram and 195 advertisements on e-commerce selling wildlife, both living or body parts.
Quoting a statement from the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, wildlife crime is ranked third in Indonesia after drug crime and human trafficking in terms of number of cases. The transaction value of wildlife trade cases from the PPATK search results is estimated more than Rp 13 trillion per year and its value continues to increase.
Wildlife crime is also targeting Kalimantan area. Based on the Kalimantan Law Enforcement Agency (GAKKUM)'s report, in 2017 the handled 13 cases; in 2018 of 5 cases, specifically in East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan in 2017 the number of cases handled as many as 8 cases
, all of which have entered the P-21 stage. From WWF Indonesia's records, aside from Kalimantan GAKKUM data, in 2017 the Nunukan and Tarakan District Police also handled cases of wildlife crime, namely elephant ivory smuggling.
Combating protected wildlife crime certainly requires strong cooperation by all parties, not only law enforcement alone, but also other agencies and organizations that have a considerable contribution in preventing and handling protected wildlife crime in North Kalimantan.
On June 2019, WWF-Indonesia facilitated a discussion to establish a communication forum for monitoring protected wildlife crime in North Kalimantan. The event was attended by the East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), Kalimantan GAKKUM Office, North Kalimantan Police Directorate General, Nunukan Regional Police, Tarakan Regional Police, Tarakan Customs, Forest Service, Kayan Mentarang National Park Management Unit, North Kalimantan Environmental Service, Tarakan Agricultural Quarantine Center, University of Borneo, Pioner Foundation, Gappeta Borneo, PLH Nunukan, KPH Nunukan and KPH Tarakan.
During the meeting, the parties agreed to establish a forum that has the function to facilitate communication with media and coordination of the all the agencies in prevention and handling the wildlife crime in North Kalimantan. The role of the forum itself will be as a media for education, outreach and advocacy. During the meeting the forum called the Wildlife Observers Communication Forum.
During the discussion, members of the forum agreed to hold a follow-up meeting to discuss the structure of the forum and prepare a work plan based on the duties and functions of each agency. As a first step, members will use a WhatsApp group to facilitate coordination and communication.
All participants welcomed the initiative. Expectations are high that the forum will be beneficial and help to prevent and the handling of protected wildlife crime by means of, exchange of information and knowledge on wildlife crime issues, capacity building and raising awareness and providing education to the wider community not to be involved in hunting and trading of protected wildlife in North Kalimantan.