The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian government has issued a permit for the importation of pandas, an animal considered vulnerable to extinction, from China. Only 15 countries, including Indonesia, have been approved to raise the protected species.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s biodiversity conservation director Bambang Dahono Adji said the issuance of the permit for the importation of pandas was monitored by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) secretariat.
“We issued the import permit last month and the pandas will be brought to Indonesia as soon as possible. We are waiting for approval from [national flag carrier] Garuda, which will transport the pandas from China. We have specially requested Garuda to carry the species because it is part of an international conservation program,” said Bambang on Friday.
He said China agreed to give pandas to several countries including Indonesia with tight prerequisites. As one of the requirements, the beneficiary country must provide a panda facility that fulfills certain criteria such as proper temperature, adequate supply of bamboo and standardized quarantine procedures.
All of these criteria have been fulfilled by conservation park Taman Safari Indonesia.
Bambang said Indonesia must also show its commitment to support the presence of pandas in the country because if the animals died, the government would be responsible.
“China has asked us to take care of the pandas and raise them properly until they can breed if possible. This is because pandas are very rare and not all countries have the opportunity to raise this species.” (ebf)