JAKARTA, Indonesia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A unique public-private partnership to conserve the highly endangered Javan rhino will continue for the second year following a signing ceremony in Jakarta. Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) has made the agreement with Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) to extend the Javan rhino conservation partnership with Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) for another twelve months.
The partnership is in support of the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia’s target to increase the population of Javan rhino in TNUK. This is in accordance with the Indonesian Rhino Conservation Action Plan and Strategy 2007 - 2017.
In the coming year, the Javan Rhino Conservation Working Group (CWG) will expand the Javan rhino habitat revitalization initiatives and continue Javan rhino population monitoring. The CWG will fund a field team that will monitor the rhino population via sixty video cameras already installed in the national park.
Recently, hidden cameras captured six baby Javan rhinos with their mothers in Ujung Kulon – raising hopes that the species has a future. But with only an estimated 50 rhinos left, the Javan rhino still ranks as one of the most endangered species in the world.
The CWG has laid out its priorities for the year ahead:
One of the CWG’s habitat revitalization goals is to triple the restoration of the Javan rhino feeding ground. These areas are currently overgrown with an invading plant species, Langkap (Arenga obtusifolia). The overpopulation of Langkap prevents growth of plants that rhinos can feed on, and this lack of rhino feed is a factor that experts say can contribute to extinction of the Javan rhinos.
Another focus for the APP and TNUK partnership is community empowerment programs. In the second year, the CWG will build basic infrastructure for clean water provisions to two villages surrounding the national park. This will have an impact on the lives of 4,000 people.
Organic farming training will be provided in the second year to three other local villages. This project has shown good potential, as a sampling study in several areas has shown that with proper management, it is possible to yield as much as the national target, which is 6.5 tonnes per hectare. Until now, rice harvesting in the area has never exceeded 2 tonnes per hectare. Improving yields and providing viable income for the local community is a major factor in reducing encroachment into the national park, including the area of Javan rhino habitats.
The renewed partnership was signed by Aida Greenbury, Managing Director, Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, APP; Enjat Sudarjat, Operational Manager, Javan Rhino CWG; and acknowledged by Dr. Ir. Moh. Haryono, M.Si, Head of TNUK and Chairman of Javan Rhino CWG.
Dr. Ir. Moh. Haryono, M.Si, said:
"This commitment provides optimism and encouragement for the CWG in supporting TNUK to conserve the Javan rhino. In the second period and beyond, we will continue to work together to increase the Javan rhino population in TNUK and to ensure that this critically endangered species can continue to survive and hopefully prosper in the long term.”
Private-public partnerships are encouraged by the Government of Indonesia (GoI) to conserve endangered species such as the Javan rhino. GoI recently called for more participation from the private sector towards such conservation efforts. APP’s contribution is largely funded through the Home for Rhino campaign in Japan, where part of the proceeds from APP photocopy paper sales are donated to support the CWG’s work in rhino conservation.
Aida Greenbury said:
"The Home for Rhino campaign has helped to generate global awareness on the need and importance to conserve this critically endangered rhino species. We received positive feedback from our stakeholders, especially our customers in Japan, who are very pleased that their purchase can contribute to this conservation effort."
“Positive impact has been shown in the first year partnership through education and community empowerment, and we will not stop with this achievement. We believe in having a lasting partnership with the government to achieve our shared goals in conserving this precious species,” she added.
The Javan rhino is one of the world’s critically endangered species. The number of remaining Javan rhinos continued to decline in the latter 1900’s due to illegal poaching for the valuable and rare single horn of the unique animal, as well as forest encroachment that resulted in habitat degradation.
Endangered species conservation is one of APP's commitments for conservation and biodiversity, as detailed in APP’s Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020. This includes support for government’s efforts to achieve the national target for growing the endangered species population.
About APP Indonesia:
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is a brand umbrella for paper products which are produced by several mills in Indonesia such as PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT Pindo Deli Pulp & Paper Mills, PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, and PT Ekamas Fortuna. APP Indonesia has a total production capacity of around 9 million tonnes and markets its products to more than 120 countries. Most of APP’s production facilities are Chain-of-Custody certified by LEI and PEFC.
APP launched its Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020 in June 2012 to further improve its environmental performance, biodiversity conservation and protection of community rights. Key objectives of this roadmap are to ensure that our pulpwood suppliers adopt High Conservation Value (HCV) protection, supply 100% plantation wood by 2015 and be 100% Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) certified by 2020.
About Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK):
Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) is one of the first five national parks in Indonesia, through the Minister of Forestry Decree No. 284/Kpts-II/1992 on 26 February 1992 with a total area of 122,956 hectares, consisting of 78,619 hectares of land and 44,337 hectares of sea. Managed by the Ministry of Forestry, TNUK was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. The area contains one of the largest remaining lowland rainforests in Java and protects 57 rare species of plants and 35 mammal species. Among endangered and rare animals roaming the national park are leopard cats, gibbons, long-tailed macaques, leaf monkeys, crocodiles, mousedeers and herds of grazing wild oxen. In the park’s surrounding seas are great clams, clown fish, angel fish, parrot fish, mudskipper, which can climb trees, and archer fish, which spit water up to two meters in height to catch insects.
In March 2011 images from a hidden video trap were published showing an adult and juvenile Javan rhino within the park, indicating recent mating and breeding. Within the last 10 years, 14 Javan rhino births have been documented, including evidence of a female birth that would help promote continued expansion of the population.