The Orangutan Foundation’s protection of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and Tanjung Puting National Park has been extremely effective in reducing the level of illegal activities. Because of the protective measures that we have in place, in 2007, we recorded just 12 incidents of illegal logging in Lamandau. This may seem high but without our monitoring and constant presence illegal activities would, without a doubt, be much more prevalent.
Jak the LECP Patrol Manager
Jak, short for Jakiruddin, Patrol Manager of Lamandau Ecosystem Conservation Partnership (LECP), who I have mentioned a few times in my blog, has only been working in this role since April 2007. Jak is excellent at his job. His strong leadership skills not only mean he is very effective at leading his team but he has also earned the respect and the confidence of external institutions that the Foundation works with, such as local Ministry of Forestry Department’s Office for the Conservation of Natural Resources.
Jak supervises the Foundation assistants who are assigned for the mobile patrols and to the guard posts, which are located on the rivers (the only way in and out of Lamandau, for us and illegal loggers). Every Thursday Jak brings logistical supplies and necessities to the network of guard posts for the week. He uses the VHF radio to organize his personnel in the different locations. It is fortunate that Jak is determined as he has received numerous threats from illegal loggers. Nevertheless, he continues to perform his task professionally and he will not step back just because of the intimidation.
The local Ministry of Forestry on patrol
Last year, on the Mangkong River, Jak and his team found a large quantity of illegal logs, an estimated one thousand cubic metres. The logs, which had been cut into approximate lengths of 2 to 4 metres, included the valuable timber species, Kempas and Meranti. The logs had already been made into a raft and were waiting to be floated away by the illegal loggers.
Photo above - the illegally cut logs made into a raft were found by Jak and his team
Police support - standing upon the rails made by the illegal loggers so that they can roll the logs out to the river.
The logs were destroyed by the local Ministry of Forestry and the Police in order to send a clear signal that illegal logging will not be tolerated. All access to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve will continue to be guarded. The combined forces of the local Ministry of Forestry and LECP will add extra personnel for each of the current seven guard posts.
The mission of the Orangutan Foundation, and of Jak, is to see Lamandau totally free from illegal activities. With the participation of the surrounding communities we are determined to keep Lamandau's forest intact so it continues to provide a viable habitat for orangutans and a sustainable livelihood for the local people.