Jakarta. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry on Thursday (01/02) urged local governments, companies and communities in Sumatra and Kalimantan to cooperate with the government in a bid to save orangutans, currently classified as critically endangered.
The ministry sent letters to companies, civil society organizations and local governments throughout both islands to participate in protecting orangutans.
Wiratno, the ministry’s director general of natural resources and ecosystem conservation, said the letter was issued in a bid to stop the killing of orangutans, which is still on the rise.
"We call on the public to report to regional conservation agencies if they find orangutans and other wildlife animals somewhere in the wild," Wiratno said in Jakarta.
According to Wiratno, the letter comes after a male Bornean orangutan was found decapitated and militated near Central Kalimantan's Barito River. Two rubber plantation workers reportedly killed the animal.
"I really would like the workers in the plantation areas to understand the operational standards when dealing with animals in their area," Wiratno said, adding that orangutans often enter plantation areas due to habitat loss.
The ministry has established call centers in 74 national parks and has also set up the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA), which is aimed at preventing the loss of endangered animals, stopping illegal wildlife transactions and unauthorized wildlife ownership.
Indonesia is home to Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelli), Tapanuli orangutans (Pongo tapanuliensis) and Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). All three populations have been in steady decline as deforestation has ramped up in recent years.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the orangutans as critically endangered.