A quick answer to Sheryl's question about David Hagan's blog Vounteering in Belantikan - Morning Commute , “Are there police patrolling this logging concession? Is there no plan in place to replant trees to rebuild the forest?”. Logging concessionaires have police on check points on access routes into their concessions, because illegal logging isn't just a problem for the National Parks, it occurs in many forms. The police, however, only monitor local people who try to extract trees – they are on the side of the concessionaire. It is the Forestry Department who monitor the activities of the concessionaires. The operator in Belantikan seems reasonably respectful of the law. In other areas the ‘legal’ loggers are less responsible.
Personally, I think our partners Yayorin (www.yayorin.org), a local Indonesian NGO, deserve big credit for the behaviour of the concessionaire in Belantikan. By simply being there, they are helping to keep everyone on the straight and narrow. As for replanting, there is a reforestation program but one hopes the forest there will recover on its own. The soils are more fertile than those we have in the lowlands and there should still be a crop of regenerating young trees left behind.