COP: Tumbang Koling Forest Burning: Orangutans in Danger

PRESS RELEASE
5th of July 2012

Forest is burned, orangutans in Tumbang Koling forest are critical
PALANGKARAYA - At least 11 endangered species such as orangutans, sunbears, gibbons, lemurs, flying squirrels, and others 34 of birds that are living in the forest in Tumbang Koling village, Cempaga Hulu subdistrict, Central Kalimantan province will be loss if the fires cannot be stopped.
On the paper, the status of the forests that have high level of biodiversity does not refer to a ‘forest’, but only a ‘land’, and currently are being contested among the oil palm company and the local community. The community of Dayak Ngaju takes the advantages from the forest by taking the timber, rattan, rubber, natural medicines, and hunting.
Over the last 5 years, the Centre for Orangutan Protection has assisted the local people to defend the forests. We established the Forest Defender Camp, rehabilitating the degraded forests that had been destroyed by the oil palm companies, assisted the community to get compensation from the company, and also fought against the company directly. The Central Kalimantan Governor also has instructed the companies to stop their expansion and published the status quo on this area.
On July 4, 2012, the APE Defender team was trying to go nearer to the fire flash point but some people there kicked them out and they were prohibited to document any events in this area. The burning of forest violates the Article 108 of the Law No. 32/2009 on the Protection and the Management of the Environment, with the minimum sentence of 3 years up to 10 years in prison and fine between IDR 3 to 10 billion.
COP urges the Ministry of Forestry to investigate this forest crime.
For further information and interview, please kindly contact:
Hardi Baktiantoro
P: 08121154911
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