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Official: 'Orangutans habitat displaced by oil palm expansion' SAMPIT, CENTRAL KALIMANTAN - The massive expansion of oil palm plantations in Central Kalimantan has led to increased environmental damages and displacement of protected animals, such as orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus).

"The destruction of their habitat poses a threat that would mean the extinction of orangutans. This is only a small part of the environmental damage caused by the opening of large-scale plantations without thinking about their environmental sustainability," said Arie Rompas, the Executive Director of the Indonesia Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Central Kalimantan, on Saturday.

Arie was also concerned regarding five possible orangutans skeletons recently found in one of the palm oil plantation fields in Kumai Seberang of West Kotawaringin District.

Meanwhile, the Central Kalimantan province Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Conservation Region Section (SKW) II of Pangkalan Bun requested that the Forestry Ministry forensic team follow-up on the skeleton findings.

Arie said the orangutan population was not only reduced by their inability in obtaining food due to their being displaced by the expansion of oil palm plantations, but also due to conflicts or hunting that may threaten their extinction.

"Their habitat is the most important part of an ecology that needs to be saved. This is also involved in the greater concerns, such as to humans and their social lives, due to environmental destruction," he said.

So far, the role of saving the orangutans has mostly been performed by NGOs which are generally funded by foreign parties, though some say it is the local government`s responsibility. Therefore, the local government has been urged to devote their attention to rescuing the Kalimantan`s endangered animals. "Local government should take more of a role in order to saves orangutans," he said.

Arie also called for the local government to be firm in acting to protect the environment, particularly forests, from over-expansion. Further, forest encroachment should be dealt with in order to maintain the forests in C Kalimantan, which has an important role for the world in remaining stable.

He said that there are also a number of plantations and mining companies that operate in violation of the nation`s rules. The violations not only occur in terms of the licensing process, but also some companies caused frequent environmental contamination.

"The local government have an Environment Center (BLH), but unfortunately their supervision is still weak. This need to be addressed in order to avoid environmental contamination," he said.


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Related blog entries (category 'Environment') Tags: orang utan, reserve, threat, oil palm, plantations


Posted in Environment @ 03 August 2013 17:41 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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