This video from Indonesia says about itself:
Read more here.
This video is called Sumatran Elephant Emergency Appeal.
It says about itself:
26 June 2014
An emergency appeal has been launched by the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) for local conservation group HAkA, in response to a significant increase in poaching of Sumatran elephants in Aceh, Indonesia.
The appeal will allow the HAkA teams (made up of local community members and trained conservation professionals) to carry out essential patrols in the Leuser ecosystem throughout July, to remove snares from this key Sumatran elephant corridor during the most intense hunting period.
Visit here to donate.
Wildlife Extra adds:
There are just 500 Sumatran elephants, which are the smallest of the Asian elephants, left and they live in fragmented habitats, as almost 70 per cent of elephant-suitable habitat has been destroyed in the last 25 years.
And conservationists fear that an increase in poaching could drive this number down even further.
In the first five months of this year, local conservation group HAkA has found and destroyed 139 snares – already more than in the whole of 2013.
Limited forest cover also means that elephants can easily be trapped in small areas, making them easier targets for poachers.
This video from Indonesia says about itself:
Baby elephant learns to use her trunk
20 Dec 2013
She’s nearly 4 months old, growing fast and starting to imitate her mother’s behaviour. Here it looks like she’s getting to grips with using her trunk!
Read more about the fantastic work of WWF-Indonesia’s elephant Flying Squad and the newest addition here.
This video from Indonesia says about itself:
EYES ON LEUSER september 2012
December 11, 2013
Environmentalists in Indonesia’s Aceh Province are calling upon the local governor to nominate the Leuser Ecosystem as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to help protect the area — one of the last places where rhinos, elephants, tigers, and orangutans share the same habitat — from new legislation that would grant large blocks of forest for logging concessions, mining, and industrial plantations.
The push comes in the form of [a] Change.org petition and a simultaneous on-the-ground campaign.
“The Leuser Ecosystem (Kawasan Ekosistem Leuser / KEL) has long been recognized as an irreplaceable ecosystem to the people of Aceh, providing approximately four million people with clean water for downstream irrigation, agriculture and food production,” states the petition. “For these reasons, to support the community, sustainable development, biodiversity and long-term health of Aceh as a great region, We would like to build on this international recognition by suggesting that [Aceh governor Zaini Abdullah] consider nominating KEL to become a new UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
“As a World Heritage Site, the Leuser Ecosystem would remain part of the legal territory of Aceh but UNESCO considers it in the interests of the international community to preserve each site,” the petition continues. “Therefore World Heritage status would give KEL special recognition and further support from the international community.”
Governor Zaini Abdullah is preparing to sign a revision of the Aceh’s spatial plan, which governs land use in the province. Heavy lobbying by mining, logging, and palm oil companies has resulted in large carve-outs for forest conversion. Environmentalists say the proposed changes would diminish important ecological services, increase the likelihood of flooding and landslides, and put endangered wildlife at greater risk. Leuser’s biodiversity led it to be recently cited in the journal Science as one of the world’s most irreplaceable protected areas.
Campaigners argue that the proposed revision is in fact illegal. Petition sponsor M. Nur, Director of WALHI Aceh (Friends of the Earth Aceh, said that as a “National Strategic Area with Protection Functions”, Leuser is off-limits to activities proposed in the new spatial plan.
“The draft Regulation proposed contravenes Aceh Governance Law No 11 / 2006, National Law No 26/2007 on Spatial Planning and Government Regulation No 26/2008, also on Spatial Planning,” Nur said in a statement. “If he still proceeds to sign it, we will have no choice but to seek a Judicial Review by the Supreme Court.”
Part of the greater Leuser ecosystem has already been lost to oil palm plantations. The Tripa peninsula was home to some 60,000 hectares of primary peat swamp forest in 1990 and some 3,000 orangutans. Conversion of the area for plantations has left only scraps of degraded forest and a small population of critically endangered orangutans. One of the small surviving patches of forest was last year cleared by PT Kallista Alam, a palm oil company, despite protection under a nation-wide moratorium on new conversion permits in peatlands and primary forests. That incident led to legal complaints and a court case against the company. A decision in that case is expected at the end of the month.
This video says about itself:
May 9, 2011
For more information: www.wwf.or.id/savesumatra
WWF urges the industry to save this and other tiger forests from destruction.
Footage taken in March 2011 by automatic video cameras in a wildlife corridor connecting Rimbang Baling Wildlife Sanctuary and Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Riau and Jambi Province in Sumatra, Indonesia. Within only 2 months 12 different tigers were identified in a 50,000 ha forest block surveyed with the cameras.
From Wildlife Extra:
Tiger Protection and Conservation Units hailed for their heroic efforts in this year’s Great Kerinci Snare Sweep.
August 2013. In any competition there are winners and losers. But for Tiger Protection & Conservation Unit rangers taking part in this year’s Great Kerinci Snare Sweep, even victory was marred by concern as the results revealed a huge rise in threat to Sumatran tigers from purpose-built snares.
Runs during Ramadan
The Great Kerinci Snare Sweep is an annual competition that began in 2011 and offers bonuses to tiger protection rangers in the long-running Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Kerinci Seblat National Park Sumatran tiger protection and conservation programme. The snare sweep starts just before (and runs for the duration of) the holy month of Ramadan and offers bonuses to the Tiger Protection and Conservation Units (TPCUs) that find and destroy the most active snares in the national park during forest patrols.
All snares rewarded
Although the emphasis is on finding and destroying active tiger snares, points are also awarded for destroying snares targeting deer and other smaller mammals, as well as removing snares and mist nets used for capturing wild birds.
Over the course of the five week snare sweep, the six TPCUs destroyed a truly shocking 40 active tiger snares (by comparison, in the whole of 2011 a total of 11 active snares were found on three of the 91 patrols conducted) along with 564 active deer snares and 79 bird snares.
They also arrested two deer poachers (who placed a total of 270 snares in a single area) and a further nine men (from another park-edge province and district) on suspicion of poaching helmeted hornbills; these individuals were later released on bail, their high-powered air guns confiscated.
Of the tiger snares destroyed, 80% were found as a result of covert investigations or tip-offs from forest-edge community informants, while more than half the deer snares destroyed were also found as a result of ‘information received.’
Not all was bad news though – the ranger units also made 29 Sumatran tiger presence records during this period – including two units reporting disturbed nights’ sleep due to what the team traditionally describe as ‘an orchestra’ but others might describe as tigers roaring.
As its name suggests, the Sumatran tiger is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and is the country’s last remaining subspecies.
Although population estimates vary, the most recent research indicates that around 500-700 of these animals remain in the wild, with numbers in decline due to illegal poaching (primarily for their skin and bones) and through habitat loss for plantations, small holder agriculture and mining.
Tigers are primarily solitary animals that require large territories and a good supply of prey, making them an excellent ‘umbrella species'; not only does their presence (or absence) indicate the overall health of an ecosystem, but conservation efforts that target tigers inevitably benefit other species as well.
In 2011, an island-wide survey (the first of its kind) found that Sumatran tigers were widely distributed across the 1.38 million hectare (5,300 square mile) Kerinci Seblat National Park, highlighting not only the importance of the area for this big cat, but also the significance and magnitude of the TPCUs’ task.
A seasonal surge, or something more sinister?
The TPCU ranger units (which consist of members of forest-edge communities contracted through FFI and national park rangers on secondment to the programme) work from base camps to the east and west of the national park. During the course of this year’s snare sweep, TPCUs conducted 26 forest patrols, spending just over 110 days in the forest and walking a distance of well over 200 km – an heroic effort, given that the last three weeks coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, when most of the rangers, as devout Muslims, were fasting (from both food and water) from dawn to dusk.
Ramadan sees a surge in poaching
The Ramadan period sees a surge in poaching in many areas around the national park as the Fast is traditionally broken with special meals – including venison – while poachers are happy to satisfy demand and reap the profit. And because these snares are indiscriminate, they threaten not only deer (key tiger prey) but also other non-target species, including tigers themselves. Hari Raya Idul Fitri, a huge celebration marking the end of the fasting month, only adds to the incentive to poach.
However by 2010, patrols and other actions had seen continuing year-on-year falls in both tiger and deer poaching in the teams’ focus patrol areas, even during the Ramadan period, as hunters realised there was a strong likelihood of their snares being destroyed (and so either stopped or sought other, safer, sites to hunt).
The Great Kerinci Snare Sweep was established in 2011 as a novel way to incentivise TPCU rangers to seek out remaining deer and other poaching hotspots while rewarding them for working so hard in a period when many try to avoid hard physical labour. But the results from this year’s sweep seem to confirm a worrying trend.
“Over the last year, forest patrols and investigations have recorded a deeply disturbing surge in threat, both in the number of snares found on patrol and in suspected trade in tiger body parts,” says Debbie Martyr (the Kerinci team leader), who believes there is strong evidence that the demand is from overseas, not Indonesia, and is highly organised.
“We know from team investigations that huge sums of money are being brandished to tempt former poachers back into the forest to hunt tigers, while the cartels we believe responsible are very difficult to penetrate. It is deeply alarming that the team has found so many tiger snares in such a short period of time, but hardly surprising given what we have learned in the last 18 months.”
As the TPCU rangers pack up for a well-earned break, plans are underway to hold a ‘council of war’ at the team’s main base camp to discuss the explosion in tiger poaching in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park and how to take action against the organised syndicates behind the problem.
In the meantime, back-up teams remain in place, ready – as always – to respond to emergencies.
November 2013: IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme and WWF have signed an agreement to develop the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas in a bid to promote tiger conservation through the WWF’s Tigers Alive initiative: here.
A tiger conservation programme managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has received €20 million from the German government through the KfW Development Bank. The aim of the programme is to increase the number of tigers in the wild and improve the livelihoods of communities living in and close to their habitat: here.
Translated from Dutch history site Historiek.net:
“Biff bang bow. Within two minutes they were all dead”
Sunday, July 14th, 2013
A year ago the Volkskrant daily published pictures of an execution in the Dutch East Indies. The unknown images were photographed during the Dutch army’s “police actions“, but much could not be told then about the actual execution. However, an 87-year-old veteran has said now to daily NRC Handelsblad that he was then a witness to that execution. The Indonesians in the picture were executed by a Dutch lieutenant, he says.
Last year, there was a lot to do about the pictures, because for the first time they showed that during the Dutch police actions there were summary executions. Experts of the NIOD [Dutch Institute for War Documentation] and the Dutch Institute for Military History (NIMH) concluded that these were unique pictures. However, where and why the execution had taken place was not known. The photos were taken by a soldier from Enschede who served as a conscript in the Dutch East Indies. This veteran is now deceased.
It now turns out that 87-year-old veteran Harry Nouwen was a witness to the execution, which he says took place in 1949 in the village Gedong Tataan in the province of South Sumatra. In NRC Handelsblad he reports that his lieutenant executed thirteen or fourteen men in retaliation for an ambush. The men had to sit with their hands in their necks in a ditch for this.
Harry Nouwen: “Biff bang bow. Within two minutes they were all dead”.
The veteran, who was a telegrapher, never spoke about the incident because he had sworn an oath to keep army secrets. That he is breaking the silence now, he says, is because of the photos published last year in the Volkskrant. That brought everything back. Nouwen says that it happened more often that his unit killed prisoners of war. …
The Veterans Institute has also spoken with Nouwen and say they have no reason to doubt the authenticity of his story.
Last year, the directors of three research institutes advocated a major new study of the military actions of the Netherlands in the former Dutch East Indies in the years 1945-1949.
See also here.
It’s the last place on Earth where endangered orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants roam free together. But mining companies and big agriculture want to rip the rainforest to shreds. If a million people call on Indonesia’s President to silence the chainsaws in the next three days, we can save this precious habitat. Sign now:
I live and work in the last place on Earth where endangered orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers still roam together — but it’ll be bulldozed to bits unless our President hears our call and steps in to save this unique habitat.
Right now in one of Indonesia’s most pristine and untouched forests, a local Governor wants to let mining and palm oil companies move in to decimate areas the size of a million football fields! And the national Forestry Ministry looks like it might let him unless the President steps in to reject this orangutan-killing plan.
We know the President wants to be seen as a keen conservationist, but we need to tell him his green reputation and possible future UN aspirations are on the line to ensure he does the right thing. We need to act fast — sign the urgent petition and tell everyone about this mortal threat to our majestic forest. If a million people sign in the next 3 days, I’ll ensure the President hears us:
I know these forests well — I’ve been working as a conservation manager here since 2007, and received the Future for Nature Award 2013 for my work protecting large mammals in Sumatra, especially rhinos. This place holds the largest biodiversity in all of the Asia Pacific region, and parts of it are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. But this new mining company-backed plan would lay waste to much of it, and would also threaten local communities with deadly landslides and flash floods! And if their habitat is destroyed it could decimate the last few orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos.
Two years ago, the President set up a national task force on deforestation, and signed a two-year logging moratorium after out of control slash and burn logging landed Indonesia in the global news as one of the top greenhouse gas emitters in the world. Thankfully, reports say the President has agreed to renew the moratorium this week, which has been a life insurance policy for so many critically endangered species. But even with the renewal, the Governor of Aceh could still rezone broad swathes of the rainforest for logging unless the President intervenes. The President has only a year and a half left in office, with some saying he’s hoping to transition into a top job at the United Nations, and we just want him to stick to his word. “Forests are so dear to my heart … losing our tropical rainforests would constitute the ultimate national, global and planetary disaster,” our president told other world leaders at a recent conference.
Mega-palm oil companies would love nothing more than to rip these trees from the ground, and the East Asia Minerals Corporation, based in Canada, was just found working behind the scenes to push through this plan! Countries like mine have a right to develop, but not at the expense of our priceless natural patrimony, and it should benefit, not harm, Indonesians.
Let’s tell the President there is an easy solution — step in to stop this forest-killing plan. Sign now and tell everyone — we don’t have long before the mining company invasion. Then if you’re on Twitter, send our Twitter-loving President a direct message after you sign:
As an Avaaz member I’ve seen this community come together to protect forests and critically endangered species, from the Amazon in Ecuador and Brazil to elephants and rhinos threatened by poaching. Now it’s Indonesia’s turn — join us in saving this magical forest.
Rudi Putra in Indonesia, with the whole Avaaz team
PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917
Indonesia Moves Towards Approving Deforestation Plan in Aceh (Jakarta Globe)
Mining company working with Indonesian government to strip forest of protected status (The Guardian)
Govt to extend forestry moratorium over business objections: Deputy Minister (Jakarta Post)
President Yudhoyono promises to dedicate the next three years to protecting Indonesia’s forests (REDD monitor)
Conservation scientists: Aceh’s spatial plan a risk to forests, wildlife, and people (Mongabay)
Indonesia’s Protected Rainforests Disappearing (Huffington Post)
Aceh draft bylaw risks forests, say activists (Jakarta Post)
Rudi H. Putra: Winner 2013 Future For Nature
Photographs taken using camera traps have revealed that orangutans spend more time on the ground than previously thought. Since orangutans tend to stay up in the trees when humans are present, scientists who observed orangutans in the past have a distorted view of how much time the apes spend on the ground: here.
The expansion of palm oil plantations into Tesso Nilo National Park needs to be stopped immediately to improve the credibility of Indonesia’s palm oil industry: here.