Indonesia: Orangutan found on illegal logging site in West Kalimantan

Severianus Endi The Jakarta Post 4 Jul 18;

A team of rangers discovered recently an orangutan and six of its nests during a patrol for illegal logging at the Sungai Putri peat forest area in Ketapang regency, West Kalimantan.

The orangutan was spotted passing by trees in the forest when the team was at the location.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s law enforcement and forest protection director Sustyo Iriono said in Pontianak on Wednesday that the finding of the endemic primate made authorities more certain that the area was a natural habitat for the endangered species.

“It [our concern] is no longer about illegal logging but how an ecosystem must be saved,” said Sustyo.

During the operation, security personnel confiscated 486 processed logs of various species and sizes. One man who worked as a furniture producer was named a suspect for his role in financing illegal logging activities and buying illegal wood.

The ministry’s environment and forestry law enforcement director general Rasio Ridho Sani said crimes against the environment and forestry would not only cause losses to the state but also damage the ecosystem and threaten people’s safety.

Since 2015, a total of 455 cases related to environmental and forestry crimes have been brought to the court, 202 of which were illegal logging cases, Rasio said. As of today, the government has carried out 198 operations against illegal logging, which managed to save 9,087 cubic meters of wood and 14,752 logs. (afr/ebf)