Vil­lagers cut down for­est in orang­utan sanc­tu­ary

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

A CON­SER­VA­TION group says nearly a fifth of the for­est be­long­ing to an orang­utan sanc­tu­ary on the In­done­sian part of Bor­neo has been oc­cu­pied and dam­aged by peo­ple liv­ing near the area, threat­en­ing ef­forts to re­ha­bil­i­tate the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered great apes for re­lease into the wild.

Bor­neo Orang­utan Sur­vival Foun­da­tion spokesman Nico Her­manu says nearly 340 hectares of Sam­boja Les­tari for­est in East Kal­i­man­tan has been en­croached upon. Peo­ple sus­pected to be mi­grants from other parts of In­done­sia have oc­cu­pied the land, cut down trees and planted crops.

Their ac­tiv­i­ties are near a “for­est school” home to more than 20 orang­utans that is a crucial part of their re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The foun­da­tion bought the land for the 1,850-hectare sanc­tu­ary from lo­cals over sev­eral years and re­stored its for­est. – AP

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