May 29, 2019

Over 1000 orangutans remain ahead of World Environment Day

JAKARTA ( - A few days ahead of World Environment Day, the team performed another field observation of the PT MPK logging concession (May 22), one of the world's last strongholds for Bornean orangutans. 

Lying in a key part of the Sungai Putri landscape, administratively situated in West Kalimantan’s Ketapang regency, it was proven that the logging concession continues to be home to more than a thousand Bornean orangutans.

As previously reported by in late November 2018, the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry found that more than 80% of the logging concession, which covers 37,000 hectares or equal to more than 1.5 times the size of Amsterdam, was composed of relatively intact peat forests.

A spatial analysis using high-resolution satellite images prepared by the spatial team has confirmed that, as of the end of May this year, more than 80% of the PT MPK concession still consists of relatively intact peat forests. 

The following new photos, taken by the team, represent the relatively intact peat forests in the MPK logging concession - inhabited by more than a thousand Bornean orangutans - in the lead-up to 2019 World Environment Day.

The ground check also observed canals previously built by the logging company, which eventually led to the ministry imposing a sanction on it in late April 2017 as these operations constituted peat violations.

The new photos below portray canals which were built two years ago. The first photo shows a minor part of the MPK logging concession that was burned by a fire which was quickly extinguished, as reported by in late August 2018.

The field observation also checked the infrastructure of the MPK logging company, which indicated that there are no current operations on the ground especially as relates to the removal of the Bornean orangutan's habitat. 

The following photos, taken from various angles, provide an update on the level of the logging company's infrastructure on ground. 

It is our expectation, of course, that by the time World Environment Day is celebrated in a few days’ time (Jun 5), nothing will have happened to threaten the more than one thousand Bornean orangutans living in the MPK logging concession.

We also expect that in a year's time, when 2020 World Environment Day comes around, and for many years afterwards, there will continue to be no bad news concerning these orangutans and their habitat in the logging concession.

Nonetheless, spatial and ground-based monitoring still needs to be carried out consistently with regard to the level of threats in the concession, in particular to avoid a recurrence of the peat violations committed by the company two years ago.