There are several threats faced by Bornean orangutans in West Kalimantan: human conflict, logging, agriculture, fires, illegal pet trade, hunting and weak law enforcement. In the heart of the Gunung Palung National Park, the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Programme (GPOCP) is fighting against the decline of the orangutan population, which has dropped by 50% in the last 60 years. This project involves several steps to approach each of the issues. Purchasing a GPS unit and camera will increase surveillance for illegal activity. Public awareness will bring the villagers to understand the necessity of a protected forest and the intrinsic value of orangutans. Community meetings will inform the villages about the rules and regulations to preserve wildlife and valuable ecosystems for future generations. Anti-poaching efforts currently in place will benefit from increased surveillance and public awareness. Short-term success is measured by community members involved, informational materials distributed, and cases brought to court. Long-term success is measured by the increase of orangutan populations and a decrease in wildlife crime.
These steps will be implemented and monitored by Edi Rahman and his team at GPOCP. As the current Animal and Habitat Protection Manager, Edi has worked for over 12 years to protect orangutansand their habitat throughout the West Kalimantan. Having already facilitated workshops and fought for legal land rights for the villagers of the region, he is well equipped and experienced to take on this challenging role.