BOS Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Forestry Republic of Indonesia, the Government of Central Kalimantan Province, the Government of the Murung Raya Regency and Conservation and Natural Resources Authority of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA Central Kalimantan) will release 4 orangutans in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest on February 28, 2012. These 4 orangutans are part of 40 orangutans that have been planned to be released in the year 2012.
Central Kalimantan, February 27, 2012. After more than a decade during which the release operation at Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Project at Nyaru Menteng (The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation) could not be realized due to the decreased amount of available secure and ecologically suitable forest, today the Governor of Central Kalimantan, Agustin Teras Narang sent the Release Team from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, from Tjilik Riwut airport, Palangka Raya heading to Puruk Cahu.
From Puruk Cahu, the Release Team will then go to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest where four orangutans will be released the following day, February 28, 2012.
“The effort and the provision of land is part of the commitment of the Provincial Government, in cooperation with the relevant Murung Raya Regency Government. Additional efforts are being conducted jointly between us, in favor of allocating forest to ecosystem restoration concessions which can be used as a place to release orangutans, especially those orangutans situated at the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Project at Nyaru Menteng,” said Agustin Teras Narang, Governor of Central Kalimantan.
Moreover, orangutan conservation efforts require high commitment and cooperation from all of the stakeholders in the enforcement of laws on the protection of orangutans. "If it is unavoidable, do not act alone, because it is breaking the law. Please cooperate with the BOS Foundation and Conservation and Natural Resources Authority of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA Central Kalimantan) to work together and find solutions," adds the Governor.
Release operations will not stop here. In the end of March 2012, BOS Foundation plans to release 12 more orangutans and it will be done continuously. There are still more than 600 individual orangutans at the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Project at Nyaru Menteng who are waiting to be released back to their natural habitat. If there is more suitable land available, the orangutan release efforts will be continued so that by 2015, the goals set in the Indonesia Orangutan Conservation Action Plan 2007-2017, proclaimed by the President of the Republic of Indonesia in the Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007, which states that all orangutans in rehabilitation centers should be returned to their habitat not later than 2015, will be accomplished.
“All of the healthy and able orangutans in rehabilitation centers should be returned to their natural habitat at the latest by 2015. After the release of these 4 orangutans, in the end of March BOS Foundation will release 12 more orangutans. This should be supported with the availability of a viable forest. The role and support of our Country’s Government, especially the Government of Murung Raya becomes very important in this matter,” Dr. Jamartin Sihite, Director of the BOS Foundation said.
Dr. Jamartin Sihite added, “These first releases have been carefully planned in coordination with all stakeholders and in line with IUCN and national guidelines. Our detailed planning process and the release of these first four orangutans will lay strong foundations for our ongoing release program over the next few years.”
Regarding the need in having ecosystem restoration areas to release orangutans back, the Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan said, "Looking ahead, the Ministry of Forestry is still firm with our commitment, and will provide and allocate more ecosystem restoration areas that fit the criteria as orangutan habitat. Therefore, the same support and commitment from the Government of Murung Raya, as well as relevant Provincial Government is desperately needed."
In line with the above statement from Minister of Forestry, Dr. Willy M Yoseph, Regent of Murung Raya states, “It is also my hope that this activity can be a positive trigger for other regencies in Central Kalimantan, to also support such activities and allocate some areas for orangutans, so there will be sufficient places to release orangutans in Central Kalimantan.”
“In addition, if the release of orangutans can be done within conservation areas which have been allocated by a company that owns a concession license in Murung Raya, that company is supposed to be open and cooperate with the Government of the Regency, BKSDA Central Kalimantan, the Provincial Government and NGOs,” he added.
In supporting the release operation, IndoMet Coal said it was pleased to be partnering with the BOS Foundation, through its Kalimantan Conservation and Sustainable Development Project, to provide logistical and technical support for the safe release of these orangutans.
“IndoMet Coal’s objective is to establish a successful business, which operates safely, responsibly and sustainably. Our program of orangutan support activities clearly demonstrates our commitment to conservation and sustainable development,” Rock Funston, IndoMet Coal Project Director said.
Dr Sihite also added that in addition to supporting BOS Foundation through its involvement in the IndoMet Coal Project, PT Adaro Energy Tbk is supporting this release.
“We always strive to fulfill our commitment to the surrounding environment in our operational activities and support biodiversity. And it’s an honor for Adaro Energy to be part of this project,” said Garibaldi Thohir, President Director PT Adaro Energy Tbk.
Beside those two mentioned organizations, Fauna and Flora International is also supporting the BOS Foundation on this release operation. “FFI is pleased to see the first positive results of partnership between BOS Foundation, BHP Billiton, PT Adaro Energy Tbk and FFI providing encouraging news for orangutan conservation and a demonstration of the commitment from the Government of Murung Raya Regency to work towards balancing regional development and conservation.” Godwin Limberg, Project Manager of Fauna and Flora International, added.
Those 4 orangutans will fly to Bukit Batikap by Helicopter from a helipad owned by PT Indo Muro Kencana. There also, the BOS Foundation put some transit enclosure for the orangutans to stay one night before the release day. The BOS Foundation has been working together with PT Indo Muro Kencana since 2007.
By law, orangutans that have been reintroduced are the responsibility of the Government of Murung Raya Regency. The regent of Murung Raya is expecting the continuous support and cooperation between BKSDA Central Kalimantan and the BOS Foundation.
This activity cannot be separated from the role of cooperation between the BOS Foundation, the donors, the Government of Central Kalimantan Province, Murung Raya Regency and BKSDA Central Kalimantan with the full support of the Central Government in this regard the Ministry of Forestry.