Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bali to host workshop on Orangutan conservation

Bali to host workshop on Orangutan conservation

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - An international workshop on orangutan conservation will be conducted in the resort island of Bali from July 15-16, 2010.

The workshop will be organized by the Forestry Ministry`s directorate general of natural conservation and forest protection in cooperation with the Indonesian Orangutan Forum.

Spokesman of Trisakti University`s Orangutan Conservation Service Program, Jamartin Sihite said here on Saturday that the workshop would be conducted as part of similar activities in the past to save the orangutan from extinction.

"We are going to conduct the International Workshop on Orangutan Conservation in our bid to save the protected species from the danger of extinction," Jamartin said.

At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bali in 2007, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a major initiative to save the nation`s orangutans.

A new study said orangutan numbers had declined sharply and were feared to become the first great ape species to go extinct if urgent action was not immediately taken. Serge Wich, a scientist at the Great Ape Trust in Iowa, said the declines in the orangutan populations in Indonesia and Malaysia since 2004 were mostly because of illegal logging and the expansion of palm oil plantations.

The survey found the orangutan population on Indonesia`s Sumatra island had dropped almost 14 percent since 2004, Wich said.

It also concluded that the orangutan population on Borneo island, which was shared by Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, had fallen by 10 percent.

In their study, Wich and his 15 colleagues said the declines in Borneo were occurring at an "alarming rate" but that they were most concerned about Sumatra, where the numbers show the population was in "rapid decline."

"Unless extraordinary efforts are made soon, the orangutan could become the first great ape species to go extinct," researchers wrote.

Indonesia and Malaysia, the world`s top two palm oil producers, have aggressively pushed to expand plantations amid a rising demand for biofuels which are considered cleaner and cheaper than petrol.(*)

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