New Guards Challenge Loggers

A new scheme has been put into place in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia, to help curb the massive illegal logging problem. The park covers 416,000 hectares and is home to 4000 Orangutans, 30 other mammal species, 260 bird species and 17 different reptiles.

A new network of guard posts has been set up to enable anyone heading up the river or into any of these watched areas to be stopped, checked ad turned away if they have no permission to be there. “These new guard post will protect a large area of the park that could otherwise be exposed to illegal activities,” said Ashley Leiman (OBE), director of the Orangutan Foundation. They are also cheap to run by western standards. Four guard posts funded by the Orangutan Foundation cost £800 per month and provide 11 local jobs.

However many guards are provided, the ultimate fate of this park and all other rainforest areas lies with the local people. An inspiring education project is being run by an Indonesian NGO in a town near to the forest, but more of these are needed as it is imperative that we teach the very people that can kill or revive the rainforest the importance and consequences of their actions.

There are several ways you can help the Orangutan Foundation protect orangutans and their habitat. If you would like to become a member, make a donation or adopt an orangutan, visit www.orangutan.org.uk.

HEADLINES:
[22.10.07] Telegraph, Ian Wood reports.

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