The Last Stand of the Orangutan - State of emergency: illegal logging, fire and palm oil in Indonesia's national parks is a UNEP rapid response assessment released in February 2007.
The survival of orangutans and other rain forest wildlife in Indonesia is seriously endangered by illegal logging, forest fires including those associated with the rapid spread of oil palm plantations, illegal hunting and trade. Forest fire and deforestation in Indonesia are also resulting in substantial emissions of carbon dioxide. Illegal logging has recently taken place in 37 of 41 surveyed national parks in Indonesia, with some also seriously affected by mining and oil palm plantation development. The use of bribery or armed force by logging companies is commonly reported.
The Indonesian initiative of better training and equipment of park rangers, including the development of Ranger Quick Response Units (SPORC - Satuan Khusus Polisi Kehutanan Reaksi Cepat) is a promising countermeasure, but requires substantial strengthening to deal with the scale of the immediate problem.
The Last Stand of the Orangutan was prepared by a Rapid Response Team at UNEP/GRID-Arendal and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre as a broad collaborative effort, involving contributors from the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, and partners of the Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP).
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