Indonesia's list of protected flora, fauna species grows from 294 to 921

Gemma Holliani Cahya The Jakarta Post 2 Aug 18;

An updated list of protected flora and fauna has seen a jump in the number of species, from 294 in 1999 to 921 this year.

The new list, issued by the Environment and Forestry Ministry last month, aims to promote sustainability and a proper treatment of the protected animals and plants.

The ministry’s biodiversity conservation director, Indra Exploitasia, said the updated list, revised for the first time in 19 years, was the result of a long discussion that began in 2007 and intensified in 2015.

“We hope that with the preservation effort, the management of the protected flora and fauna can be sustainable,” Indra told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

On the list, the names of several birds appear, including kenari melayu (finch), gelatik jawa (sparrow) and kacamata jawa or pleci (Javan white-eye.

These birds are popular for the beautiful sounds they make when they chirp and are often kept at houses as pets, especially by Javanese people.

Indra said they were added to the list because they met the criteria for protected flora and fauna as stipulated in Article 5 of Government Regulation No. 7/1999.

The article states that any species of flora and fauna that are endemic to the country, have a small population or saw its population decline significantly are required to be included in the protected class.

“We are currently preparing a policy for the management of the protected flora and fauna. For example, the flora and fauna that can be brought [home] as pets must be certified first. But we are still preparing the policy,” she said.

However, several species on the 1999 list are not on the new list, including 13 species of hardwood timber tree of the genus Shorea.

“The list can change anytime. If there is a study proving that the population of a certain [species of] flora and fauna is increasing or decreasing, then it could be used as consideration for the list,” Indra said. (evi)

New species list not retroactive: Ministry
The Jakarta Post 8 Aug 18;

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has said that its newly revised list of protected flora and fauna is not retroactive and, therefore, owners of protected birds that were obtained prior to the enactment of the list are not subject to prosecution.

Birds dominate the revised list with 564 species, including songbirds like the white-rumped shama and the Javan white-eye, which are popular as cage birds.

Activists have lauded the new list, which was introduced last month to promote sustainability and the proper treatment of protected animals and plants.

Under the 1990 law on natural resources and ecosystem conservation, those who trade or keep protected flora or fauna face up to five years in prison or Rp 100 million (US$6,929) in fines.

However, the ministry said the new policy stirred concerns among bird owners, as hoaxes and false information on the policy recently went viral.

“It [the new policy] is not retroactive,” the ministry’s director general for natural resources and ecosystem, Wiratno, said in a press release on Tuesday.

“So it is not true that people who kept or bred birds such as the Javan-white eye [before the new list was enacted] will be prosecuted,” he said.

Owners of protected birds have been urged to notify the ministry, which is currently drafting guidelines for bird-singing contests to allow bird lovers to uphold local traditions without putting conservation efforts at risk. (ipa)