PRESS RELEASE: BOS Foundation Condemns Orangutan Killing in Kapuas

BOS Foundation: February 16, 2017 – Please Note Extremely Graphic Images Below.

The BOS Foundation strongly condemns the recent killing of an adult orangutan by 10 oil palm plantation workers in Kapuas, Central Kalimantan. This unfortunate event adds to the long list of conflicts between humans and orangutans within oil palm plantation areas.

Bogor, February 16, 2017. The BOS Foundation strongly condemns and deplores the slaughter of one orangutan on January 28, 2017 by 10 workers of PT Susantri Permai, an oil palm plantation in Kapuas, Central Kalimantan. Orangutan conservation efforts by the BOS Foundation and other similar organizations will be seriously undermined without all stakeholders complying to the Law No. 5/1990 which clearly regulates the protection towards all orangutan species and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and IDR100 million fine for violators.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, CEO Yayasan BOS asserted, “We greatly appreciate the prompt response from the Minister of Environment and Forestry along with her ministerial officials, as well as the Kapuas police officers in responding to the report and apprehending 10 suspects. However, it is important for all of us to realize that such cases oftentimes end unsolved and dissipate behind all the news frenzy in this country. We therefore request all stakeholders, including the public and observers, to thoroughly follow and keep an eye on the legal process on the suspects. Firm law enforcement is utterly necessary by imposing fair and strict punishments towards the violators to create a deterrent effect and prevent similar events from taking place in the future.

“We have to stop these despicable and inappropriate actions from happening again,” Jamartin added. “Not only they are protected by the law, but most importantly orangutans are not food. We view this horrendous and barbaric act of killing and eating an orangutan as the representation of how unappreciative we generally are towards nature and biodiversity. The fact that these ten suspects work for a company that is a subsidiary of a foreign RSPO member leads us to urge RSPO to take firm actions and demand for the company to conduct intensive and regular trainings for their palm oil workers and the surrounding communities about the legal status of orangutans and the severe consequences violating the law. We surely do not want orangutan slaying, like this or the one occurred in 2011 in Kutai Kartanegara Regency, East Kalimantan, to happen over and over again.”

The BOS Foundation sees this as the tip of the iceberg of all law violations on protection of wildlife species. We suspect that similar cases have taken place and are being kept unreported. When they are finally disclosed, bones and skeletons are often the only remaining evidence and it is impossible to investigate. We, therefore, highly appreciate the parties whom with conscience and high regards to the law, reported this incident to the authorities, despite possibly facing many risks. Indonesia needs more brave individuals or groups like this, to uncover the whole iceberg and put an end to the killings of endangered wildlife.

We also need to realize that habitat conservation is an utterly significant part of the protection and preservation of this endangered species. We need serious commitment from all stakeholders. Companies need to commit and conduct regular trainings on conflict mitigation between humans and orangutans for their workers. We also need to actively participate to raise awareness on this issue.

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