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Indonesia - 04 September, 2018
The Gunung Tarak Landscape in Ketapang District in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, consists of natural and production forests surrounded by oil palm plantations. Some of these plantations, as well as major roads constructed since the early 2000s, cut through the forest areas. This has had a major impact on the habitat of orangutan groups, especially the 2,500 orangutans living in the Sungai Putri production forest that have become completely cut off from the rest of the habitat.
In early 2017, TBI started collaborating with two of the oil palm companies in the area to develop ideas for an ecological corridor that would facilitate the free movement of the orangutans. The initiative built on TBI’s successful promotion of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach among both public and private actors in Indonesia over the past decade. More than one million hectares of forestland are now managed as HCV areas, preventing further deforestation in these areas.
In this training and advocacy work, TBI cooperated with the Sustainable Trade Initiative and Flora and Fauna International and engaged closely with the District Development and Planning Agency (BAPPEDA) of Ketapang District. Bringing together local government and private and civil society partners paid off. BAPPEDA became very enthusiastic about the idea of an ecological corridor and introduced the plan to the West Kalimantan Province Forestry Office. In late 2017, the partners celebrated an important and tangible achievement: the Governor of West Kalimantan issued Decree No.718. The decree contains guidelines for the determination of Essential Ecosystem Areas in Kayong Utara District and Ketapang District, which include the proposed ecological corridor. Once developed, this ecological corridor will connect HCV areas in the Sungai Putri production forest, where the orangutans are isolated, with the Gunung Palung National Park and Gunung Tarak Watershed protection forest. The animals will once again be able to roam freely in their natural habitat.
Published in the Annual Report 2017