Bali to host orangutan
conservation workshop

DENPASAR: An international workshop on orangutan conservation will be held in the resort island of Bali from July 15-16.

The workshop will be organized by the Forestry Ministry Directorate General of Natural Conservation and Forest Protection and the Indonesian Orangutan Forum.

A spokesman of Trisakti University’s Orangutan Conservation Service Program, Jamartin Sihite, told Antara news agency that the workshop would be conducted “in a bid to save the protected species from the danger of extinction”.

At the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Bali in 2007, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a major initiative to save the nation’s orangutans.

A new study said orangutan numbers had declined sharply and it was feared the animals would become the first great ape species to go extinct if urgent action was not immediately taken.

Serge Wich, a scientist at the Great Ape Trust in Iowa, said the decline in orangutan populations in Indonesia and Malaysia since 2004 were mostly due to illegal logging and the expansion of oil palm plantations.

The survey found the orangutan population on Sumatra had dropped almost 14 percent since 2004, Wich said. It also concluded the orangutan population on Borneo, which was shared by Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, fell by 10 percent. — JP

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