POLICY

Minister delivers evidence on Bornean orangutan habitat in logging concession
December 5, 2022

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JAKARTA (FORESTHINTS.NEWS) - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Professor Siti Nurbaya has reiterated that one of the top priorities of Indonesia's Forestry and Other Land Use (FOLU) Net Sink 2030 is to ensure that Sumatran, Tapanuli and Bornean orangutans do not go extinct and that their populations continue to grow within their own habitats.

To this end, she emphasized that efforts to observe Sumatran, Tapanuli and Bornean orangutan habitats, through satellite imagery and ground-based monitoring, are ongoing as a means of continuing to strengthen evidence-based datasets in decision-making processes.

"Indonesia provides the world's largest habitat for these three flagship species and they will never go extinct. On the contrary, their populations will definitely continue to grow," Minister Nurbaya said during a technical workshop on the country's FOLU Net Sink 2030, in Bali (Dec 3).

Minister Nurbaya also revealed new evidence of the positive impact generated by her move in March 2017 to stop peat violations committed by a logging company (PT MPK) whose concession in West Kalimantan contains one of the most important Bornean orangutan habitats.

The Minister also legally rejected the company's peat drainage work plan, as reported by FORESTHINTS.NEWS in August 2017. The company’s logging concession permit, which was granted by the previous administration, initially spanned an area exceeding the size of 48 thousand football fields before being reduced to 37 thousand hectares after boundary marking was carried out.

The new evidence divulged by the Minister was derived from ground-based monitoring in the form of drone-captured photos, shown below, which confirm that the Bornean orangutan habitat in the concession is still dominated by peat forests.



True ground-based evidence

Minister Nurbaya said that the peat forests dominating the MPK concession serve as true ground-based evidence, proving that the area continues to provide an effective habitat for a growing population of over a thousand Bornean orangutans.

"The evidence needs to be delivered as is, without accentuating small-scale threats by making out that they are large-scale threats and thereby producing fake evidence," the Minister cautioned.

"More than a thousand orangutans continue not only to survive but also to thrive in the concession’s habitat," she added.

“We shouldn’t act as if we are delivering ground-based evidence derived on a scientific basis, but then we go and pretend that minor things are major. Science and evidence always go hand-in-hand and reinforce each other. The simultaneous use of science and evidence is powerful and deserves our respect," the Minister stressed.

The photos below depict a major canal - taken from a different angle - which was developed from 2016 to early 2017. This canal remains out of use after the peat drainage operations in the concession were stopped in March 2017. Of the 60km long peat drainage canal planned, only 8.1 kilometres have been built and the company has been ordered to rehabilitate and restore the affected area, under review by the Ministry.



Adequate ground-based sampling essential

Minister Nurbaya has repeatedly underlined the need for ground-based observations with sufficient scientific sampling to be performed before carrying out projections or interpolations regarding populations of flagship species.

Doing projections and interpolations of datasets with assumptions that are not based on field checks backed by scientifically-qualified sampling, the Minister explained, will merely result in generalizations which may be methodologically correct but are completely skewed when it comes to generating conclusions and recommendations.

“Imagine what would happen if researchers don’t do enough ground checks and sampling prior to conducting projection-based analyses and interpolations of the datasets on the table. This will inevitably produce biased conclusions and recommendations which will not help at all in an informed decision-making process," she asserted.

"An understanding of heterogeneous landscapes on the ground level, along with the various complexities within them, will also be neglected if field checks are not carried out on scientifically sufficient sampling," the Minister added.

According to Minister Nurbaya, “All researchers, especially international ones, including those involved in the study of flagship species such as orangutans, are of course registered in our ministry because they must obtain permits from us. As such, we know who the international researchers are who are not involved in doing ground checks in-person in the field.”

“International researchers who have never done ground checks, then use their imagination in creating projections or interpolating datasets, have no credibility. These types of researchers have no benefit for Indonesia,” the Minister chided.

Potential peat fires

Minister Nurbaya also pointed out that the evidence-based datasets obtained from the MPK logging concession - apart from being important for monitoring the Bornean orangutan habitat in the concession - will also be used as part of the time-series datasets related to potential peat fires next year.

In 2019, the MPK concession was sealed under order from the Minister due to the peat fires that had occurred in the concession, albeit over an area of less than 3% of the total concession, as reported by FORESTHINTS.NEWS in early December 2019.

The Minister, as reported by FORESTHINTS.NEWS (Oct 31), has warned of the serious threat of forest and land fires next year given the projected persistence of the El Nino weather phenomenon. This means that anticipatory and early actions need to be taken to ensure that Indonesia's FOLU Net Sink 2030 climate targets are not compromised.

One of the key aspects for Indonesia to achieve its FOLU Net Sink 2030 targets, as frequently underscored by Minister Nurbaya, is the protection and nurturing of Sumatran, Tapanuli and Bornean orangutan populations, as well as that of other flagship species.

TAGS: ORANGUTAN , FOLU NET SINK 2030 , CLIMATE ACTIONS

RELATED STORIES


POLICY

Minister delivers evidence on Bornean orangutan habitat in logging concession
December 5, 2022

facebookfinal.png wafinal.png twitterfinal.png emailfinal.png

JAKARTA (FORESTHINTS.NEWS) - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Professor Siti Nurbaya has reiterated that one of the top priorities of Indonesia's Forestry and Other Land Use (FOLU) Net Sink 2030 is to ensure that Sumatran, Tapanuli and Bornean orangutans do not go extinct and that their populations continue to grow within their own habitats.

To this end, she emphasized that efforts to observe Sumatran, Tapanuli and Bornean orangutan habitats, through satellite imagery and ground-based monitoring, are ongoing as a means of continuing to strengthen evidence-based datasets in decision-making processes.

"Indonesia provides the world's largest habitat for these three flagship species and they will never go extinct. On the contrary, their populations will definitely continue to grow," Minister Nurbaya said during a technical workshop on the country's FOLU Net Sink 2030, in Bali (Dec 3).

Minister Nurbaya also revealed new evidence of the positive impact generated by her move in March 2017 to stop peat violations committed by a logging company (PT MPK) whose concession in West Kalimantan contains one of the most important Bornean orangutan habitats.

The Minister also legally rejected the company's peat drainage work plan, as reported by FORESTHINTS.NEWS in August 2017. The company’s logging concession permit, which was granted by the previous administration, initially spanned an area exceeding the size of 48 thousand football fields before being reduced to 37 thousand hectares after boundary marking was carried out.

The new evidence divulged by the Minister was derived from ground-based monitoring in the form of drone-captured photos, shown below, which confirm that the Bornean orangutan habitat in the concession is still dominated by peat forests.



True ground-based evidence

Minister Nurbaya said that the peat forests dominating the MPK concession serve as true ground-based evidence, proving that the area continues to provide an effective habitat for a growing population of over a thousand Bornean orangutans.

"The evidence needs to be delivered as is, without accentuating small-scale threats by making out that they are large-scale threats and thereby producing fake evidence," the Minister cautioned.

"More than a thousand orangutans continue not only to survive but also to thrive in the concession’s habitat," she added.

“We shouldn’t act as if we are delivering ground-based evidence derived on a scientific basis, but then we go and pretend that minor things are major. Science and evidence always go hand-in-hand and reinforce each other. The simultaneous use of science and evidence is powerful and deserves our respect," the Minister stressed.

The photos below depict a major canal - taken from a different angle - which was developed from 2016 to early 2017. This canal remains out of use after the peat drainage operations in the concession were stopped in March 2017. Of the 60km long peat drainage canal planned, only 8.1 kilometres have been built and the company has been ordered to rehabilitate and restore the affected area, under review by the Ministry.



Adequate ground-based sampling essential

Minister Nurbaya has repeatedly underlined the need for ground-based observations with sufficient scientific sampling to be performed before carrying out projections or interpolations regarding populations of flagship species.

Doing projections and interpolations of datasets with assumptions that are not based on field checks backed by scientifically-qualified sampling, the Minister explained, will merely result in generalizations which may be methodologically correct but are completely skewed when it comes to generating conclusions and recommendations.

“Imagine what would happen if researchers don’t do enough ground checks and sampling prior to conducting projection-based analyses and interpolations of the datasets on the table. This will inevitably produce biased conclusions and recommendations which will not help at all in an informed decision-making process," she asserted.

"An understanding of heterogeneous landscapes on the ground level, along with the various complexities within them, will also be neglected if field checks are not carried out on scientifically sufficient sampling," the Minister added.

According to Minister Nurbaya, “All researchers, especially international ones, including those involved in the study of flagship species such as orangutans, are of course registered in our ministry because they must obtain permits from us. As such, we know who the international researchers are who are not involved in doing ground checks in-person in the field.”

“International researchers who have never done ground checks, then use their imagination in creating projections or interpolating datasets, have no credibility. These types of researchers have no benefit for Indonesia,” the Minister chided.

Potential peat fires

Minister Nurbaya also pointed out that the evidence-based datasets obtained from the MPK logging concession - apart from being important for monitoring the Bornean orangutan habitat in the concession - will also be used as part of the time-series datasets related to potential peat fires next year.

In 2019, the MPK concession was sealed under order from the Minister due to the peat fires that had occurred in the concession, albeit over an area of less than 3% of the total concession, as reported by FORESTHINTS.NEWS in early December 2019.

The Minister, as reported by FORESTHINTS.NEWS (Oct 31), has warned of the serious threat of forest and land fires next year given the projected persistence of the El Nino weather phenomenon. This means that anticipatory and early actions need to be taken to ensure that Indonesia's FOLU Net Sink 2030 climate targets are not compromised.

One of the key aspects for Indonesia to achieve its FOLU Net Sink 2030 targets, as frequently underscored by Minister Nurbaya, is the protection and nurturing of Sumatran, Tapanuli and Bornean orangutan populations, as well as that of other flagship species.

TAGS: ORANGUTAN , FOLU NET SINK 2030 , CLIMATE ACTIONS

RELATED STORIES