19 Dec 2018
At the Manggala Building, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Jakarta (Dec 18), KEHATI presented a 2018 Forestry Review Panel Discussion with the theme, “Get to Know KEHATI’s Role in Indonesian Forest Conservation.”
The KEHATI Foundation noted in his presentation that Indonesia is among the nations with the top ten largest forests in the world, with a total area of 126.3 million hectares (KPK 2018). Indonesia is also the country with the third-highest megadiversity in the world. Forest ecosystems are crucial for controlling soil erosion and flooding, regulating climate change, providing habitat for flora and wildlife, absorbing various pollutants, and generating economic prosperity. We shall no longer be able to use the forest’s services if it is damaged.
On the basis of these facts, KEHATI supports government efforts to manage forests sustainably, including Social Forestry, Forest Management Units (KPH), and National Parks. Up till 2018, KEHATI operated in 34 provinces and 67 districts, serving 311,242 distinct beneficiaries, 38 percent of whom were women.
We will keep implementing conservation programs that can support international and domestic commitments, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), and low carbon development, as a fund management institution that carries out the mandate for biodiversity conservation (kehati) in Indonesia. According to Riki Frindos, executive director of the KEHATI Foundation, “We are making this effort to develop a sustainable nature for today’s people as well as for the future of the nation’s children”.
The Tropical Forest Conservation Action (TFCA), which assists the government and local communities in their efforts to maintain the forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan, is currently administered by KEHATI. Local partners were successful in securing 46 Social Forestry permits totaling 128,622 hectares through TFCA Sumatra. While this was going on, TFCA Kalimantan was successful in assisting neighborhood partners in obtaining 21 Social Forestry permits covering a total of 180,314 hectares.
The management of the mangrove forests in Brebes, Central Java, and Mount Halimun Salak National Park (TNGHS), West Java, is also supported by KEHATI through various financial programs. Contributing to Indonesia’s timber industry’s sustainable growth is this conservation effort.
“Using an ecosystem strategy that takes into account coastal, agricultural, and forest ecosystems, KEHATI carries out a conservation program in Indonesia. With organizations that can help Indonesian biodiversity initiatives, such as the national government, regional governments, business communities, universities, NGOs/KSM, professional groups, and the media, many types of cooperation have been developed. In this situation, KEHATI acts as a link between these parties,” said Rony Megawanto, program director of the KEHATI Foundation.
While implementing the conservation program, TFCA Sumatra identified a number of threats in 13 Sumatran landscapes, including forest fires, road construction in forested areas, poaching, illegal logging, encroachment into forested areas, overlapping areas, destructive fishing, and wildlife-human conflict.
According to the TFCA Sumatra, 118 conflicts took place in 41 villages, 12 districts, and landscapes in 2018, resulting in losses of 275.71 ha in total. Along with its effects on people, this war also had an influence on a number of protected species. For example, 1 elephant and 2 clouded leopards died, 1 cub was taken away from its mother, 16 orangutans were evacuated, and 1 tiger was relocated. In Sumatra, four different species of animals—orangutans, elephants, tigers, and rhinos—compete with people.
The creation of a Conservation Response Unit (CRU), patrol operations, the purchase of anti-tiger cages and video traps, the execution of emergency action plans, the identification of animals, and the care of domesticated elephants are some of the actions taken to resolve this problem.
Within 5 years, hunting of the Sumatran rhino had decreased because to patrolling actions. The patrol crew in Gunung Leuser National Park was able to document 0 Sumatran rhino deaths in 2018. In Tesso Nilo National Park, the same thing took place. Along with rhinos, wildlife poisoning and poaching for elephant ivory have both reduced.
The Heart of Borneo Program, which was previously agreed upon by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam, is a program for conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in TFCA Kalimantan. Its structure is similar to that of the special program in Sumatra. The program covers the preservation of species such orangutans, proboscis monkeys, Bornean banteng, Mahakam dolphins, arowana, and ivory hornbills. It is being carried out in West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan.
The TFCA Kalimantan species and ecosystem conservation program has achieved a number of successes, including the release of 28 orangutans, the rescue of 2 bondol and Javan eagles, the preservation of 1,760 proboscis monkey habitat in the Segah River delta, the identification of porpoise habitat in Kubu Raya, a bison bio-ecological survey in the Belantingan Hulu ecosystem, the preparation for rhino translocation in West Kutai, sustainable management of 234,346.17 acres of forestland and an initiative to safeguard biodiversity for 11,478 people.
The operation to capture the female Pahu rhinoceros in West Kutai, East Kalimantan, is one of the intriguing species conservation initiatives undertaken by TFCA Kalimantan. The crew, which included scientists and conservationists, caught rhinos or other large creatures using the pit-trap technique, which uses holes in the traps that are precisely made to prevent harm to the animals being caught. Based on the experience of catching rhinos in Sumatra between 1985 and 1990, the pit-trap approach has been shown to be the safest way to capture huge wild animals.
The crew not only built pit traps but also used video traps and patrolled the most remote environments to track rhino movements. Patrols are conducted since it is believed that hunting for consumption species like wild boar and deer is still going on. This is done to guarantee that the rhinos are still safe and are not disturbed by hunters and forest encroachers. This is due to the habitat for rhinos not being in a conservation forest.
In the end, the procedure, which lasted from April to November 2018, was successful. A natural reserve or sanctuary received the Pahu rhino when it was captured. With the Decree of the Director General of KSDAE Number SK. 93/KSDAE/SET/KSA.2/2/2018 dated February 27, 2018, the operation to capture the female Pahu rhino in Pocket 3 of West Kutai got underway.
For 5,188 individuals of the community, TFCA Kalimantan also ran economic development programs in addition to the protected animal conservation program. This program was successful in creating 17 agroforestry products, NTFPs, agricultural and fisheries products, as well as 13 tourism-related items.
In terms of the program to mitigate climate change, TFCA Kalimantan was successful in planting and enhancing forests over an area of 885.61 ha, preventing land conversion over an area of 119,947.16 ha, composting 8.5 tons, preventing forest fires over an area of 86,456 ha, and conducting forest patrols over an area of 06,652.77 ha.
In Dukuh Pandan Sari, Brebes, where the mangrove environment was successfully restored as part of the regular program of KEHATI, the region has since become a popular destination for up to 2,000 tourists throughout the summer. Due to its achievements, Pandan Sari became a recognized mangrove learning center where two village chiefs who oversaw the community organization “Mangrovesari” earned prizes at the national level. Mashadi earned the Kalpataru award from the President of the Republic of Indonesia in 2016, while Rusjan was given the Social Forestry award by the Minister of Environment and Forestry in 2015.
Due to the unchecked removal of mangrove trees to create room for ponds, Pandan Sari Hamlet earlier underwent pretty significant abrasion. Ponds become unproductive as a result of abrasion, which affects the local economy. 100,000 trees were planted in a 5 hectare area by KEHATI in 2008 as part of a rehabilitation effort for the mangrove environment. The local community’s perseverance allowed 3.5 million stems of mangrove trees to be planted up until 2018 over 210 hectares of land.