Indonesia: Military forces secure Tesso Nilo National Park

Antara 28 Mar 17;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Joint army personnel from the 04/Pangkalan Kuras district military command in Pelalawan, Sumatras province of Riau, are conducting joint operations in an effort to secure Tesso Nilo National Park.

"The joint patrols, involving two different teams, will be carried out for eight days," the Chief of the District Military Command, Captain Diding Sukardi, said here on Monday.

He added that the joint patrol would be conducted by two teams who would take part in arbitrary operations in the villages of Lubuk Kembang Bunga and Baserah.

He stated that the operation was done to secure the park against forest encroachment and illegal logging activities.

"We also aim to protect wild animals in the area from illegal hunting," he remarked.

The operation also involves police forces and personnel from Tesso Nilo National Park.

The head of Riaus Natural Resource Conservation Office, Mahfuds, explained that the integrated patrol would be continued throughout the year.

He expressed hope that through the operation, the 80 thousand hectare park would be free from illegal logging activities.

"All possible efforts would be taken to protect the part," he added.

Besides joint patrols, Mahfuds revealed that law enforcement efforts would also be taken against violators.

Supartono, the head of Tesso Nilo National Park office, affirmed that only 25 to 30 thousand hectares of forests were left from the initial 80 thousand hectares.

Tesso Nilo is one of the conservation areas where illegal logging and encroachment activities have been rife. Such activities make the forest area, which is rich in flora and fauna in Riau, prone to fires.(*)

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