The existence of a Natural Forest Utilization Performance (PBPH), once known as a company holding forest exploitation rights, was proven to coexist with illegal orangutans. "By applying the principles of sustainable forest management, we succeeded in reducing the negative impact of logging and maintaining the preservation of flora and fauna in the region," said President Director of PT Gunung Gajah Abadi (GGA), Totok Suripto in the "Workshop on Learning Biodiversity Management at the PBPH Nature Concession in Landscape Alam Wehea-Keay, "in Samarinda, March 1, 2023.
PT GGA manages an area of 74 thousand hectares in East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. This company has received a certificate of sustainable forest management, Both at the national level, namely the Lestari Production Forest Management Certificate, and at the global level with the certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. PT GGA applies the Reduced Impact Logging-Carbon method and ecological and social management for the company's operations. The concession area of PT GGA is part of the management of the Wehea-Keley landscape, covering an area of 532 thousand hectares, which has a high conservation value area.
The orangutan is an endemic species with a joint commitment to be protected in collaborative management in this region since 2015. The landscape of Wehea-Keaya is managed by the parties consisting of layers of society, the private sector, regional governments, the central government, and non-governmental organizations. They joined the Wehea-Keaya landscape management forum. Forum members, who were originally ten parties, now become 23 parties. "Together with the platform, we learn much from ecological management. We are also more aware of biological wealth in the company, both in terms of number and control, "Totok added.
Increasing the density of the orangutan population
The achievement of forums in managing biodiversity provides positive news. "It is estimated there is an increase in the value of orangutan density in the area of PT Gunung Gajah Abadi and PT Karya Lestari compared to Baseline from four years ago," said Arif Rifqi, a species conservation specialist threatened with extinction from the Nusantara Alam Conservation Foundation (YKAN), which is also wrong One speaker in the workshop. The density of the orangutan population at PT GGA increased by 17 percent, and at PT Karya Lestari increased by 46% from Baseline. "This finding shows that sustainable forest management on a landscape scale can save the orangutan population," he added. Monitoring the orangutan uses the method of calculating the number of nests in the transect perpendicular (line transect). The comprehensive monitoring of 33 segmented paths with a distance between 4 kilometers represents the area of the study.
The management area of PT GGA and PT Karya Lestari is a place for population monitoring and orangutans in the landscape of the Wehea-Kelay. The two companies are also members of the Wehea-Kelay Landscape Management Forum and have implemented the best management practices in their operations.
Orangutans are animals that are protected both nationally and globally. Even August 19 is celebrated as the day of the world orangutan. Orangutans are umbrella species because they play a role in forest regeneration by spreading the grains of the tree he consumes. The loss of orangutans will affect the loss of other species in the habitat. This giant ape has a similarity of 93 percent with human DNA, so there is still much that can be learned from the ecology of orangutans to improve human welfare.
"Many things about orangutans that have not been revealed are still a long journey to explore the role of orangutans in human life. No less critical, emphasizing what the human part is for orangutans, "said Arif.
The workshop that was held today was carried out to disseminate the steps of the PBPH Nature holder in applying the best management practices and their impact on biodiversity in their work areas. Workshop participants are members of the Indonesian Forest Entrepreneurs Association in East Kalimantan. "We are proof that managing the concession can maintain biodiversity," Totok said.
Chairman of the Indonesian Forest Employers 'Regional Employers' Regional Commission for East Kalimantan Asrul Anwar said he would convey the workshop results to 100 members. "In the future, the management of the production forest is inseparable from the ecological side, namely biodiversity," he said in the same forum. APHI plans to conduct biodiversity activities and research throughout the region so that the association will have comprehensive and complete information. "We hope East Kalimantan can become a national pilot," Asrul said.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.