From Hardi Baktiantoro, via e-mail
Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) urges Wilmar Group to stop deforestation committed along the Pukun River in Central Kalimantan by one of its subsidiary, PT Rimba Harapan Sakti (RHS), as the action is jeopardizing the last orangutans’ population around Sembuluh Lake.
COP and Save Our Borneo (SOB) have identified at least five orangutans during a survey executed on Oct 2 – 6, 2010. If the deforestation continues, the five orangutans will surely die eventually along with other wild animals in the forest like gibbons and proboscis monkeys.
On June 13, 2010 COP and BKSDA of Central Kalimantan evacuated a baby orangutan from, Firman, a resident of Bangkal village. According to Firman, the baby was captured near a land-clearing field within a concession belongs to PT. RHS.
The forest around Sembuluh Lake is an important habitat for orangutans. However deforestation for palm oil plantations has been leading the last orangutans’ stronghold in Danau Sembuluh sub-district to an end.
Rescue teams from Indonesian Forestry Ministry, BOS Foundation and OFI have evacuated three hundred orangutans at the least. However not all were successfully saved, as many of them found
seriously injured and dying prior to the evacuation.
In order to capture orangutans, plantation workers will usually hit orangutans’ heads before binding the biggest tree dwelling mammals.
There have been eleven corporations running their palm oil plantations around Sembuluh Lake today. Most of them have become Wilmar’s subsidiaries lately, after Wilmar acquired them from PPB Group Berhad.
Both Wilmar and PPB Group Berhad are members RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).
Hardi Baktiantoro is COP's principal.
Thursday, Dec 12th