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Monday, December 14, 2009



Yayasan Palung (YP) sebuah organisasi yang bekerja di bidang konservasi orangutan dan habitatnya di wilayah Kalimantan Barat khususnya Kabupaten Ketapang dan Kabupaten Kayong Utara saat ini sedang mencari 1 (satu) Field Officer dan 2 (dua) Assistant Field Officer untuk bekerja pada Program Pendidikan Lingkungan dan Program Perlindungan Satwa dan Habitat yang berbasis di kantor Yayasan Palung di Ketapang, Kalimantan Barat.
Kandidat diharapkan siap dan mampu secara mental dan fisik untuk bekerja di luar gedung kantor dan dengan jam kerja yang mengikuti kondisi di lapangan, (contoh mendampingi kegiatan yang mengharuskan untuk berjalan jauh dan menginap di dalam hutan untuk beberapa hari).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Indonesia: Timber Corruption’s High Costs

(versi Bahasa Indonesia di bawah)
$2 Billion Annual Revenue Loss and Damage to Rule of Law, Human Rights
November 30, 2009

Widespread corruption in the forest industry is the dirty secret no one wants to talk about. But until the lack of oversight and conflicts of interest are taken seriously, pouring more money into the leaky system from carbon trading is likely to make the problem worse, not better.
Joe Saunders, deputy program director
(Jakarta) - Corruption in Indonesia's lucrative forestry industry costs the government US$2 billion annually, detracting from the resources available to meet its obligations on economic and social rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Inadequate oversight and conflicts of interest also raise a red flag over whether Indonesia can be a reliable carbon-trading partner. Carbon trading schemes are likely to be an important topic at the United Nation's Climate Change Conference, which begins December 7, 2009, in Copenhagen.
The 75-page report, "Wild Money: The Human Rights Consequences of Illegal Logging and Corruption in Indonesia's Forestry Sector," found that more than half of all Indonesian timber from 2003 through 2006 was logged illegally, with no taxes paid. Unreported subsidies to the forestry industry, including government use of artificially low timber market prices and currency exchange rates, and tax evasion by exporters using a scam known as "transfer pricing," exacerbated the losses. Using industry methods, including detailed comparisons between Indonesia's timber consumption and legal wood supply, the report concluded that in 2006 the total loss to Indonesia's national purse was $2 billion.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog of Smiles

I’ve had a nice and wonderful time here in Ketapang during these past weeks of volunteering. It’s sad to go and I hope that the friends I’ve met here have enjoyed having me on as a sidekick. Learning about both the research that goes on at Gunung Palung and the raising awareness about biodiversity, poverty reduction and educational activities on the ground have opened up my eyes to the potential and challenges of orangutan conservation.

I am happy to have learned so much about Borneo, village life, and of course, orangutans during my small time volunteering here. It would be nice to hear from everyone again. Since the last post, we went to the hutan kota to see a semi-captive and rereleased wild orangutan, went to Riam Berasap for a traditional medicine show learning how even small forest plants have nice medicinal value, and appreciated Samad during his wedding! After the wedding, many of the staff went out for coconuts, also known as kelapas (Javanese klopos), on the beach south of town.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Menyediakan obat dari Tanaman Sendiri

Riam Berasap Jaya, 14 Nopember 2009. Beberapa kelompok perempuan di Desa Riam Berasap Jaya mengikuti perlombaan Tanaman Obat Keluarga (TOGA) yang di usung oleh PKK Desa Riam Berasap Jaya. Kegiatan lomba TOGA di ikuti oleh 9 kelompok yang merupakan Dasawisma dan beberapa kelompok wanita mandiri di desa tersebut.

Mengenal tanaman yang bermanfaat sebagai obat adalah alternative pengetahuan untuk peningkatan kesehatan dan kesejahteraan keluarga. Negeri ini banyak sekali jenis-jenis tanaman yang bermanfaat menjadi obat herbal, namun hanya sedikit orang yang mengetahui manfaat besar dari tanaman- tanaman yang sudah biasa kita lihat tersebut. Tanaman-tanaman yang biasanya digunakan untuk keperluan sehari-haripun selain menjadi rempah ternyata juga mengandung nilai penyembuh yang besar. Selain itu nilai-nilai tanaman hutan yang dikenal masyarakat hanya sebatas kayunya atau manfaat lain, ternyata mengandung unsur obat herbal yang luar biasa.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lubuk Baji and then to the Villages

Hi there, this is an update about Yayasan Palung’s trip to the Lubuk Baji campsite in Gunung Palung National Park. This site was set up in 2005 to promote community awareness among children, incoming visitors and teachers about habitat protection, teamwork and wildlife. The day started out in the early morning with a jump into the Yayasan Palung truck and off to the field. We came to a school where the headmaster greeted us and, surprisingly, asked me to introduce myself. It was special to see how hard students worked to learn English, and valued having a fluent English speaker to help practice English with.
The hike up to Lubuk Baji was hill upon hill, culminating near the top with a downpour of rain. We spent the day appreciating the rainforest atmosphere, cooking noodles and tempeh, and allowing the children to learn about how to work as a team to protect the forest. Activities in the morning included observation of wildlife including groups to observe flora and fauna.
We saw hornbills, cuckoos, an orangutan nest, among other insects and big trees. The orangutan nest made us feel very close to the wild. Pak Udin, our guide, took us to a splendid view from the Batu Bulan lookout. On the return journey, some of us took a dip in the swimming hole under the waterfall. With the clean mountain water, why resist?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From the eyes of a volunteer

A quick introduction: my name is Arnab Saha and I recently came from the United States to Borneo to volunteer with Yayasan Palung for close to two months. I am interested in the relationship between human and orangutans, especially in their physiological connections, some which are brought to light by the transmissible diseases such as turberculosis, malaria, and measles, among other things (less commonly known as zoonosis). I also believe that there should be room for orangutans to live in the world with human aspirations, and that the habitats provide plentiful opportunities if looked at with long term vision.

These past two weeks at Yayasan Palung were filled with surprises, celebrations and new friendships. My initial impressions of Ketapang and Borneo were nice – there's a soft breeze, coconut palms and a vast array of fruiting plants. It's the season for salak and papaya, both enak (delicious). The field director, Andrew de Sousa, has moved into a new home, and hosted a very nice housewarming for many guests including the staff. Also, long-time animal keeper Pak Toriin is leaving Yayasan Palung to work with International Animal Rescue, who have recently began working in West Kalimantan. A small celebration was held in his honor in the early afternoon. This gave many members of the staff an opportunity to visit the transit center temporarily holding many orangutans confiscated as pets in the illegal pet trade. There were two male infants, a large twelve year old female, and a young female orangutan as well as a rescued eagle. There, the big female held out her hand and placed it gently on Meredith's forehead. She laughed. Maddy, a a volunteer at the center, also guided myself and Samad, also known here as Samad Khan for the Indian actor Saruk Khan (equally handsome) in the place. It is disturbing to know how long orangutans have stayed in this temporary center, intended for only a few weeks use, for over several months. Gosh it's nice to think that there are wild orangutans which still have their habitats.

I'm helping the Yayasan Palung education team to construct a poster raising awareness for orangutan conservation in the Sukadana region, where they run a newly-built Environmental Education Center adjacent to Gunung Palung National Park. I followed some of the team to the Center, where for a few days I helped tutor local children in English and plant organic vegetables to empower village leaders to sustainably keep Gunung Palung's forests and orangutans.

I got a taste of local entertainment when a few of the staff members took me to see a night fair and a haunted house in Sukadana before traveling back to Ketapang. I'm looking forward to the coming weeks - the durian season should be coming soon!


Monday, September 7, 2009




Sudah kurang lebih 2 bulan kemarau melanda ketapang… hujan hanya sekali2 dengan intensitas yang kecil. Terakhir hujan turun di ketapang sekitar 16 agustus 2009 lalu.Air asin mulai masuk ke sungai pawan sampai ke daerah negeri baru. Air terasa payau.Bagi masyarakt kebanyakan, air sangat dibutuhkan sekali terutama air bersih untuk minum dan mandi mereka sehari–hari. Rata–rata orang dalam sehari bisa mengahabiskan air 20–25 galon sehari hanya untuk kebutuhan MCK.Keadaan ini mengakibatkan masyarakat yang mempergunakan air sungai pawan untuk keperluan MCK mulai terganggu dan mulai sulit untuk memperoleh air tawar.Belum lagi di perparah dengan semakin banyakya supur (perigi) yang mulai mongering, bahkan tidak banyak sumur yang terinterupsi air asin.

- Kita bayangkan apabila 10–20 tahun lagi air telah benar–benar habis..Bahkan mungkin dalam satu hari kita hanya bisa menikmati setengah gelas kecil saja yang bisa kita teguk tidak pada 20 tahun kemarin…kita bisa minum 8-10 gelas/hari. Apakah kita masih bisa menikmati air yang selama ini kita buang begitu saja?? Apakah kita masih bisa mandi dengan air yang banyak untuk menyegarkan tubuh kita? Apakah kita masih bisa minum untuk menghilangkan rasa haus pada diri kita? Kemungkinan itu mungkin masih bisa,tapi sangat tipis sekali… Apakah masih ada orang – orang yang menjajakan air untuk di jual??jawaban nya, masih dan itu pasti dengan harga yang sangat tinggi sekali..mungkin untuk 1 liter air saja bisa mencapai jutaan bahkan puluha juta rupiah…percayakah anda???

- Bagaimana masyarakat memperoleh air tawar untuk kepentingan konsumsi dan MCK di ketapang pada musin kemarau ini?

Kebanyakan manusia sekarang untuk mendapatkan air tawar demi kebutuhan, mereka membuat parit atau sumur galian,dan biasanya juga mereka membeli air kepada perusahaan PDAM.

Bagaimana cara mengatasinya?? Mencoaba untuk memulai lah dari sekarang tanamkan sikap peduli lingkungan, buang sampah pada tempat nya, dan coba lah untuk menanam pohon walaupun hanya 1 batang saja. Menanam pohon sangat berharga untuk masa depan bumi kita, karena pohon dapat menyerap karbondioksida sepanjang hidupnya,dan siklus air secara terus menerus( pohon mennyerap air dan menguap ke udara sehingga membentuk awan yang kemudian menjadi hujan). Menanam pohon sangat berharga untuk masa depan bumi kita, karena pohon dapat menyerap karbondioksida sepanjang hidupnya

Mungkin hal inilah yang bisa kita tanamkan mulai dari sekarang untuk masa depan yang lebih cerah…GO GREEN.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Perjalan Si Pongo

Di sebuah hutan yang lebat... tiba-tiba ada seekor Orangutan yang sedang menaiki pohon.
Orangutan itu kelihatannya sangat lapar sekali dan memakan pucuk daunan yang masih hijau muda. Ketika Orangutan itu merasa kenyang akhirnya dia turun dan mencari tempat yang baru lagi. Pada saat dia berjalan di sebuah perkampungan masyarakat, ia melihat rumahnya ( Hutan) penuh dengan api yang sangat bekobar... Orangutan itu berpikir"Aku Harus Cari Makanan dimana Lagi"...!!! Dan kenapa ini harus terjadi???

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Inconsistent policies accelerate forest destruction: NGOs

Adianto P. Simamora , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 08/13/2009 9:36 AM | National

Environmental groups said Wednesday inconsistency in government policies had played an important role in forest destruction, leading to continual forest fires and deforestation across the country.

The statement was made jointly by Greenpeace, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and Indigenous People’s Alliance-West Borneo (AMAN). Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said government policies issued this year were systematically destroying the country’s forests. “Such inconsistent policies have an impact on forest fires and deforestation in Indonesia,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

He said the government had issued a policy to stop illegal logging in Riau in December 2008.

“But, in March 2009, the government issued annual clearing permits for Riau, which then lead to forest fires and deforestation,” he said.

He said in January 2009, the government issued a policy to extend the pulp and paper industry’s time frame to use natural forest timber until 2014.

In addition, under the 2009 ministerial decree, the clearing permit decision-making process was taken over by the central government from the provincial administration. “The issuance of new plantation permits has triggered forest fires, like in Riau, Sumatra and Kalimantan,” Bustar said.

Greenpeace detected 161 hotspots in Riau alone, 532 in Sumatra and 2,012 in Kalimantan on Aug. 4.

Activists from the three organizations staged rallies in concession areas belonging to the country’s oil palm and paper company, Sinar Mas, around Sentrarum Lake National Park in West Kalimantan last week in protest the government’s inaction in stopping the continual forest fires and ongoing deforestation.

“This sensitive region is one of the largest wetlands in the world, the water source for Indonesia’s largest and longest Kapuas river and the main source of protein for West Kalimantan’s 4.5 million people,” Bustar said.

Representatives of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a subsidiary of the Sinar Mas Group, also attended the press conference at the Greenpeace office on Wednesday and distributed a official statement from APP regarding the forest fires.

“It is misleading and plainly illogical to suggest that APP and its pulpwood suppliers are the cause of forest fires in Indonesia. In fact, APP has a strict ‘no burn’ policy. Forest fires are damaging to our investments, our pulpwood suppliers’ plantations, and to protected conservation forests.

“We work hard to avoid, detect and contain them,” the statement said, adding that the company spent US$2 million annually on fire management, for pumps, helicopters and fire-fighting training.
In July, it identified 213 forests fires on land belonging to the pulpwood suppliers, 199 of which were caused by illegal forest encroachment by local communities and 14 by illegal logging activities.

The Office of the State Ministry for the Environment found hotspots spread across concessions belonging to 77 companies in Riau in the first seven months of the year.

Greenpeace renewed calls on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to prioritize forest protection to save the forests and help alleviate global warming.

“His promise to the international community to reduce hotspots by 50 percent by 2009 to deal with global warming could fail if President Yudhoyono does not take strict action now,” Bustar said.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dry Season

Here in West Kalimantan we are well into the dry season. While there are some nice things about this time of year - it is easier to get around as the roads are more dirt than mud, and we've has some great fruit harvests over the last month with durian, mangosteen and rambutans all over the place.

But one of the biggest downsides to the dry season is that it also becomes the burning season here. Everyday you can see little towers of smoke dotting the hills from slash-and-burn agriculture. It's bad enough when you think about all that smoke entering the atmosphere, but even worse when you realize that many of the areas being cleared were forests only days before.

In Ketapang, an alarmingly high number of people have respiratory issues. I haven't seen any official statistics, but there are plenty of children and adults that complain of asthma-type conditions. Fortunately this year the fires do not seem to be too great, relatively - perhaps the massive deforestation means less to burn, but the fires are still small enough, that the effects have been relatively mild compared to a few years ago, or our neighbors. About 250 kilometers north of us, forests fires continue to have severe effects on the district capital of Pontianak. The smoke gets so thick that airplanes are often delayed or canceled due to poor visibility, and the pollution causes health problems such as stomach ulcers. Visitors from Pontianak often talk about how nice it is to be able to breathe fresh air here, but every morning, with each new plume coming from the hills, one has to wonder for how much longer that image will last.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Orangutan Terdesak ke Tepian Sungai

Kamis, 11 Juni 2009 17:48 WIB

Simpang Hilir, Kalbar (ANTARA News) - Pembukaan lahan di seputar kawasan Taman Nasional Gunung Palung (TNGP) di Kabupaten Kayong Utara, Kalbar, memaksa orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) terdesak ke hutan yang tersisa di tepian sungai.

Yusuf (20), seorang pekerja di permukiman Blok Q PT Jalin Vaneo di Kecamatan Simpang Hilir, Kamis, mengaku kerap melihat orangutan di pinggir Sungai Semadang.

"Orangutan itu tengah memakan umbut tanaman nipah yang banyak terdapat di tepian sungai," kata Yusuf.

Yusuf sudah satu bulan bekerja di permukiman yang berjarak sekitar 20 kilometer dari Desa Batu Barat, Kecamatan Simpang Hilir tersebut.

Ia melihat dua ekor orangutan dewasa dalam hari yang berbeda. Namun waktunya sama, sekitar pukul 11:00 WIB.

Joni (17), pekerja pembersihan lahan PT Jalin Vaneo di Blok L hampir setiap hari juga melihat orangutan di tepian Sungai Semadang.

Blok L sekitar 30 menit ke arah hulu dari kawasan Blok P PT Jalin Vaneo bila ditempuh dengan speed boat bertenaga 40 tenaga kuda.

"Orangutan itu juga makan umbut tanaman nipah," kata Joni. Terkadang ada dua ekor orangutan di tepian sungai. Joni sudah bekerja di Blok L sejak Januari tahun 2008.

Menurut dia, sewaktu hutan di kawasan itu masih baik, agak sulit menemukan orangutan. Namun setelah pembersihan lahan dilakukan, orangutan mulai sering terlihat. Perusahaan perkebunan kelapa sawit PT Jalin Vaneo menyisakan areal hutan dengan lebar dari tepi sungai sekitar 100 meter.

"Di hutan tepi sungai itu kerap terlihat orangutan," kata Joni.

Manajer Perlindungan Hewan Yayasan Palung Tito P Indrawan mengatakan, satu ekor orangutan jantan membutuhkan luas kawasan hutan dua kilometer persegi.

"Kalau saat ini mereka kerap terlihat di tepian sungai, terpaksa karena hanya itu hutan yang tersisa di kawasan itu," kata Tito P Indrawan.

Orangutan, lanjut dia, bersifat individual sehingga kalau habitatnya tergusur akan sulit untuk beradaptasi di daerah lain.

Humas PT Jalin Vaneo dan PT Cipta Usaha Sejahtera, Omay Kamaruzzaman mengatakan, mereka menyediakan sebagian lahan perkebunan untuk hutan konservasi.

PT Jalin Vaneo dan PT Cipta Usaha Sejahtera mendapat konsesi lahan masing-masing 20 ribu hektare di Kecamatan Simpang Hilir.

Perusahaan juga siap untuk membantu evakuasi orangutan yang terjebak di areal perkebunan dan permukiman penduduk setempat.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Uji coba Jalur Presentasi Pusat Pembelajaran-YP

3-5 Mei 2009, sebanyak 24 siswa yang terdiri dari 3 sekolah (SMAN 2 Ketapang, SMAN 1 Sukadana dan SMKN 1 Sukadana) tersebut melakukan uji coba jalur presentasi di Pusat Pembelajaran-Yayasan palung di Desa Pampang Harapan.

Selain itu, mereka juga menerapkan praktek THAB (Teknik Hidup Alam Bebas), survival dan belajar meng-inventarisasi tumbuhan dengan metode petak tunggal di beberapa tipe habitat yang terdapat di sepanjang jalur, tipe hutan sekunder, tipe hutan primer dan ekoton (batas) antara kedua tipe habitat tersebut, dan membuat herbarium dari sampel tumbuhan.

Tujuan penggabungan 3 sekolah di dua kabupaten dalam kegiatan ini, agar para siswa dapat berkolaborasi, bertukar informasi dan pengalaman yang mereka dapat dari latar belakang yang berbeda.

Di harapkan, dalam kegiatan ini terbentuk mental dan kepribadian siswa yang mandiri, peduli terhadap hutan dan pelestariannya, sehingga di masa depan mereka dapat memanfaatkan sumber daya alam yang ada dengan arif dan bijaksana.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Trip to Cabang Panti

Yayasan Palung grew out of conservation activities initiated by Dr. Cheryl Knott about a decade ago in West Borneo. Dr. Knott had been researching the orangutan population in Gunung Palung National Park since the early 1990s, and our organization continues to work closely with international research projects in the park. This week, the Yayasan Palung staff visited the Cabang Panti site in the park, where international and Indonesian researchers are observing the behaviors of orangutans, gibbons and leaf monkeys.

Although most of the staff grew up in Ketapang or Kayong Utara regencies, one of the very last places in the world which still have wild orangutans, and have been working for years on orangutan conservation, few of us had ever seen an orangutan in the wild. We regularly have orangutans go through our transit center - but these animals are usually sick and miserable, having been taken from the forests, usually severely malnourished and kept in unsanitary conditions as pets. Maybe it was just my imagination, but when the wild orangutans looked at us I did not see the same sadness or pain that I see in the rescued domesticated animals.

We were lucky - wild orangutans are known to be solitary and hard to find, but the researchers identified several animals. Two groups of Yayasan Palung staff were able to see a total of six animals in one day - one adult male, one adult female, and two mothers each with one child (the pictures are of some of these animals, taken by researcher Tri Wahyu Susnto). While we were very excited to see such a healthy orangutan population, our trip also gave us sufficient cause for concern. On our hike up to the camp and back out of the park two days later, we heard trees being felled and saw multiple signs of illegal logging and hunting actively taking place withing the National Park boundaries.

When we got home, I was exhausted. Still I knew that the work before us to protect the orangutan of West Kalimantan is going to be much more difficult that the dozens of hours we spent hiking through leech-infested forests and swamps. But now, should I ever feel tired or frustrated with setbacks we might face in building a conservation movement here, I can reflect back to how much happier the orangutans look in the wild, and should easily be able to draw the strength to keep on working to keep them there.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Introduction - Perkenalan

Welcome to our blog! This will be a bilingual (Indonesian/English) place where staff from Yayasan Palung (Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program) will talk about our activities to protect the wild orangutan and its habitat in West Kalimantan (Borneo). Please join in the discussion and share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out about!

Selamat datang di Blog Yayasan Palung! Blog ini berisi informasi tentang kegiatan Yayasan Palung di sekitar Taman Nasional Gunung Palung (Kabupaten Kayong Utara dan Ketapang, Kalimantan Barat). Silakan mengikuti diskusi-diskusi dengan para staf Yayasan Palung. Mari kita berjuang bersama untuk konservasi orangutan dan habitatnya!