The survival of 24 orangutans living in a rehabilitation compound in Samboja Lestari about 45 km north of Balikpapam, East Kalimantan, is being threatened by deforestation, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Wednesday (July 26).
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) program manager Agus Irianto said on Wednesday that residents of Tani Bhakti village in Samboja district were using bulldozers to chop down the forest and to open land.
They claimed that the Samboja Lestari forest was previously designated a transmigration area, he said, adding that the residents were transmigrants from East Java who had lived in the area since 1957.
However, BOSF had bought the land from the local people in stages at about Rp 2 million per ha from 2000 to 2005 and it took the foundation’s volunteers 15 years to reforest Samboja Lestari which was previously in critical condition.
The forest was used to help train the orangutans.
BOSF executive director Jamartin Sihite said he hoped that the Kutai Kartanegara Transmigration Agency can help explain to the local residents the legal status of the forest.
survival, orangutan, Samboja Lestari forest, bulldozers