One day in the life of Rudi Zapariza
West Kalimantan province occupies a special place in the heart of Rudi Zapariza. The man who is the Project Leader for WWF-Indonesia Melawi Sintang region since the 2010, and who has over 10 years conservation experience for this province.
As a former activist of Yogyakarta Muhammadiyah University’s Student Association for Environmental and Adventure Activity (Mapala), Rudi joined the WWF-Indonesia in 2002. His main job is to help the community at the time from the buffer zone of the Betung Kerihun National Park (BKNP) through a conservation benefit to the community.
"At that time, I worked as a Buffer Zone Development Coordinator, stationed in Kapuas Hulu, which is the farthest districts in West Kalimantan”, he said.
In 2005, Rudi became the WWF-Indonesia Forest Coordinator in Kapuas Hulu. At that time, Kapuas Hulu initiated a conservation district to rescue the Heart of Borneo (HoB) forest. He tried to provide important input and implementation of local government policies. In addition, he has also been trying to convince people to stop illegal logging and switched to rubber agroforestry development and forest plants.
"The rubber agroforesty project has come to fruition and we are seeing results. Currently, there is about 300 hectares of land planted with rubber and forest plants”, said Rudi.
His noble mission to preserve this HoB region does not always run smoothly. Rudi often faces conservation barriers such as threats of violence or indirect pressures, but that hasn’t broke him in working with the community to conserve this region.
Born in the Bengkulu Province, Indonesia, on August 24th 1972, the indigenous community values have played an important influence on his implementation of conservation and sustainable development in the field. "Understanding the character of this community is important for me to continue to contribute in the conservation world”, said Rudi.
After working in the BKNP and Danau Sentarum National Park (DSNP), he is now working in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBRNP). According to Rudi, the long and medium terms for BBBRNP’s development management plans are an important first step in West Kalimantan.
"The first step is to provide spatial input preparation in these two districts, which are then followed by the strengthening and educating the local community on good forest governance, thus strengthening the implementation of the HoB can be achieved”, he said.
"In one and a half years working at WWF-Indonesia in Sintang-Melawi, much of the implementation process is still yet to be supported. Even so, the general of WWF in the two districts has been welcomed by the government and the local communities”, said Rudi.
"I am certain this kind of conservation should provide tangible benefits to the community.” ~ Rudi Zapariza