Wednesday, 13 May 2009



To save the last population of Orangutan sub species morio (Pongo Pygmaeus

Morio) in Kutai National Park, East Kalimantan, the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) urges the Commission for Corruption Eradication to immediately enforce the law. The number of orangutans in the area, which was 600 individuals in 2004, has fallen to only 30-60 individuals at present, due to massive destructions of the national park. The ones left are now living in the Prevab - Mentoko block separated from the Kaltim Prima Coal mine by the Sengata/Papa Charlie river.

Politicians and government officials had committed an act of omission and had sponsored the crimes occuring continously in the area until now. The East Kalimantan administration with permission from the Ministry of Forestry build the 60km Bontang - Sengata road crossing the Kutai National Park in 2002. The road development had badly damaged the orangutan habitat and had triggered a huge destruction of the forest. The government has ironically decided to turn the forest area to a village and a district of 23,712 hectares-wide.

"The Kutai National Park has been changing into a city, complete with an airport, gas stations, marketplace, BTS towers, a bus terminal, and prostitution complex. Only time will tell, whether orangutans can survive in the area," said Yon Thayrun, Habitat Campaign Manager of COP.

"The root of the problem with the Kutai National Park is a breach of duty committed by officials to get political and financial advantages. They gave away land spaces to people to win their votes in the local administration elections. They also mobilize people to seize the national park area. Their strategy to win people's hearts by giving away the land seemed successful," Yon Thayrun said.

"The best solution for the Kutai National Park is by bringing the corrupt officials and politicians to justice and sending them to prison. This will force their supporters to leave the looted land and stop their illegal activities," he said.