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Jakarta Post

Central Kalimantan illegal loggers become coconut sugar farmers

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

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East Kotawaringin, Central Kalimantan   /   Tue, November 26, 2019   /  03:00 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Mist hangs over the rainforest of Central Kalimantan — a source of clean air, regulator of climate and home to thousands of plant and animal species, including the critically endangered Bornean orangutan.(Greenpeace via Björn Vaughn/Ulet Ifansasti)

Aliannur has been an illegal logger for 20 years. Should he be caught red-handed by a local security officers, the 36-year-old from Satiruk village on Hanaut Island, East Kotawaringin regency, Central Kalimantan, would bid Rp 500,000 (US$35) so that the officer would not arrest him. The bribe accounted for more than 30 percent of his total funds to perform his work. "Because I have a family to provide for," he told The Jakarta Post during a visit to a coconut sugar-producing village with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and UN-REDD Programme. Combing the peat swamp forest for 20 days with a ration pack and Rp 1.6 million in cash, Aliannur would complete his exploration in the forest by selling 2 cubic meters of timber worth Rp 2.4 million. Therefore, he earned around Rp 800,000, if not caught red-handed. Aliannur said he would go into...