Wehea-Kelay landscape is one of vital habitat to Kalimantan’s flora and fauna. This area is approximately 2% of the total forest area in Kalimantan, which is the habitat for at least 35% of mammals in Kalimantan, 41% of terrestrial birds, 20% of reptiles, and 46% of amphibians. Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus morio) is one of the priority in Wehea-Kelay Essential Ecosystem Area collaborative management.
On March 1st, 2023, a workshop of Lesson learned from Biodiversity Management in Forest Concession Areas (PBPH). is held in Samarinda. At this event, PT Gunung Gajah Abadi (GGA) and Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) presented the lesson learned. PT GGA shared how they have implemented the principles of sustainable forest management using Reduced Impact Logging-Carbon methods, ecological management practices and social management in 532 thousand hectares in the area.
On the other part, YKAN who has provided technical assistance for more than 20 years, supports sustainable forest management through supporting Wehea Kelay Collaborative Management Forum. The forum consisted of 23 institutions from community, private sector, regional government, central government, and non-governmental organizations. YKAN also worked with the indigenous people and during the time conducted biodiversity researches, including orangutan. Orangutan is endemic species and had become a priority species to be protected by the forum since 2015.
The workshop shared good news from the forum. According to the presented data, it is estimated that orangutan population density is increased in two concession areas compared to the baseline data four years ago. Population density in concession area of PT Karya Lestari from 0,204 increased to 0,377 individual/km2, while in PT GGA area, from 0,671 increased to 0,808 individual/km2. These results showed that the concession areas management can be implemented in alignment with orangutan protection program. This also give hopes for future sustainable forestry management that aimed to reduce logging’s negative impact along with protecting biodiversity in Wehea-Kelay Landscape.