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Jakarta Post

Kalpataru Award Winner: Lidjie Taq, Guarding the source of life

  • Anissa S. Febrina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 9 2009   /  10:47 am

JP/Anissa S. Febrina To live close to nature is probably something many in the city dream of. But rarely do we realize the great responsibility that comes with that privilege, one that Lidjie Taq, chief of the Wehea tribe, takes very seriously. "For us, the forest is a source of life," says the leader of the 2,500 residents of Nehes Liah Bing, a village in East Kalimantan's East Kutai area. "It is like a barn where we can obtain anything from meat, plants, seeds and, especially for us, a natural recycler of water. Protecting it means we are protecting our own lives." Lidjie's efforts to protect Wehea forest have gone from guarding it to fighting for its legal conservation status. The forest is located about 40 kilometers from his community and five other neighboring villages. It is an effort that has been recognized through the recent Kalp...