Ministry of Environment and Forestry Announces 25 Priority Species

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Ministry of Environment and Forestry announced 25 priority protected species, said head of forestry and environmental engineering at the ministry, Indra Eksploitasia, in Jakarta on Saturday (28/5).

“This is a big business with the price of high impact of species extinction,” said Eksploitasia adding that declaring priority species was needed due to illegal wildlife trading in the country was a promising business.

In 2015, government had repatriated 14 orangutans from Thailand, two orangutans from Kuwait, and two orangutans from Malaysia. In addition, Indonesia has released seven orangutans to its natural habitat.

She added that the ministry had cooperated with national police to foil illegal wildlife trading, however, she stressed on role of public to protect the species and tackle the business.

Meanwhile, Director General of Natural Conservation and Ecosystem of Ministry Tachrir Fathoni, said that biggest challenge in protecting wild species must be balanced with smart strategy and joint coordination with public.

Currently, Fathoni added, civil societies and NGOs were still put concern on environment and nature. Furthermore, he said that donors and nature reserves managers would be rewarded with special facility, such as land tax exemption which was still in discussion.

“The involvement of all stakeholders, including public participation is important, for instance to protect our endangered elephant which has been declining. There was 4,300 elephants in 2007 but there was only 1,704 elephants in 2014,” he said.

Director General of Law Enforcement, Rasio Ridho Sani, said that illegal wildlife trading was categorized as Trans National Crime and ranked the third biggest illegal trading after drugs and weapon.

“Based on TRAFFIC Illegal Wildlife Network data, illegal wildlife trading had reached US$ 323 billion in 2009,” said Sani.

The 25 priority species are Sumatran tiger (153), Sumatran elephant (563), Javan rhino (58), Sumatran rhino (29), Banteng (394), Javan gibbon (461), orangutan (3,200), and proboscis monkey (2,502).

In addition, Komodo dragon (5,954), Bali starling (147), maleo (6,787), babirusa (661). Eagle (82), Cockatoos ( a total 1,389 birds of five species), leopard (20), Bawean deer (275), birds of paradise (a total of 141 birds of seven species), Surili (184), tarsius (82), Celebes crested macaque (319), Sumba hornbill (30), Black capped lory (eight), turtle (4,890), Tree kangaroo (10), Rinjani scops owl (27).

Reports by Danny Kosasih