Minimizing Human Conflict with Orangutans | WWF
Minimizing Human Conflict with Orangutans

Posted on 04 April 2018

BKSDA of West Kalimantan notes that as many as 439 wild animals, involving 28 species including orangutans, were rescued throughout 2017. The conflict has further magnified the extinction rate of these arboreal animals annually.
PONTIANAK - Natural Resource Conservation Center of West Kalimantan (Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam/BKSDA) took a number of partners to jointly decrease the rate of conflict between humans and orangutans. The trigger of the conflict is the conversion of forest areas into oil palm plantations and industrial plantations and overlapping land owned by residents with orangutan habitat.

BKSDA of West Kalimantan notes that as many as 439 wild animals, involving 28 species including orangutans, were rescued throughout 2017. The conflict has further magnified the extinction rate of these arboreal animals annually. These conflict triggers are to be mitigated through the Institutional Capacity and Human Resources Capacity Building training, targeted to Minimizing Human and Orangutan Conflict in Purun River Landscape of Kubu Raya and Mempawah Districts, April 2-4, 2018.

Through this training, stakeholders such as WWF-Indonesia, Titian Lestari Foundation and the Orangutan Conservation Forum of West Kalimantan (Forum Konservasi Orangutan Kalimantan Barat/FOKAB) who also supported by TFCA Kalimantan together with BKSDA of West Kalimantan, collaborated on mitigation efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict such as orangutans.

The overlapping of orangutan habitat with community land and the conversion of forest area as orangutan habitat to plantation land and Industrial Plantation Forest (Hutan Tanaman Industri/HTI) resulted in orangutans being hunted and killed since they were considered as destructive pests to garden crops. People's ignorance of mitigation efforts often leads to a shortcut that kills orangutans.

"This is one of our efforts to suppress human and orangutan conflict. Prior to the conflict, anticipatory measures should be taken. And this must be accompanied by his own human will, so that the ecology of the species population is maintained and socially the people's lives are also maintained," said Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, Head of KSDA Kalbar.

According to him, one of the main causes of the decline in wildlife populations in West Kalimantan, especially species of orangutans is exploitation through hunting for trade, maintenance and consumption purposes. Other causes are habitat fragmentation due to deforestation caused by forest and land fires, illegal logging, and forest conversion into cultivation areas.

In Indonesia, the problem has become a national issue in the last ten years that is often surfaced and raised in various media and discussion forums. From the results of media monitoring, in the last seven years (2010-2017) there are seven instances of orangutans entering the village residents in Rasau Village, Sungai Purun Village, Peniraman Village, and Wajok Village, Mempawah District.

West Kalimantan Program Manager WWF-Indonesia Albertus Tjiu said that humans are actually closely related to orangutan species. "If we keep nature where this species lives together, of course it will also have a good impact on our lives. As long as the habitat is good, the feed would be enough, so they [orangutans] will not disrupt the area that became the source of community life, such as gardens. This is what we need to understand together, we agree and run the commitment," he said.

The training is aimed at improving institutional and human resource capacity to minimize potential human conflict with orangutans in the Purun River Landscape and surrounding areas. It can also provide understanding and uniformity of survey methodology to government agencies, private parties, and environmental conservation agencies (NGOs) as trainees, as well as to provide an understanding of the handling of post-rescue orangutans.

Through this activity, it is expected to bind the commitment of the parties in mitigating the conflict between humans and orangutans. The parties can also proactively report cases or conflict findings through call centers and submit reports through android apps.

Director of Titian Lestari Foundation, Sulhani, said that proactive participation in monitoring orangutans' circulation such as trade, maintenance, or encounter, especially from private and public sectors is desirable.

"Institutional capacity, both government, private and environmental conservation agencies, is certainly helpful to the protection of orangutan species as well as conflict mitigation efforts with the animals themselves," he said.

Currently, BKSDA Kalbar has made several conflict mitigation efforts, among them initiating the call-numbers that can be reached 24 hours (call center) and provide capacity enhancement of field tasks.

For more information, please contact:

Paramitha Rosandi (Publikasi & Wildlife Rescue Unit)
Call Center BKSDA (+628115776767)
BKSDA Kalimantan Barat
Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 121 Pontianak
Phone: +6281253453555

Dewi Puspita Sari (Species Officer)
WWF-Indonesia West Kalimantan Program
Jl. Karna Sosial Gg. Wonoyoso II No. 3 - Pontianak
Phone: +6282148486784 | Email: dpuspita@wwf.id
West Kalimantan Program, Orangutan, Borneo Orangutan, WWF-Indonesia, heart of borneo, HoB
As many as 439 wild animals including 28 species of orangutans were rescued throughout 2017
© WWF-Indonesia/West Kalimantan
orangutan, purun river, borneo orangutan, heart of borneo, hob, west kalimantan, programme
The training is aimed to improving institutional and human resource capacity to minimize potential human conflict with orangutans in the Purun River Landscape and surrounding areas
© WWF-Indonesia/West Kalimantan