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[INCL English] Indonesian Nature Conservation newsLetter 9-41a

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  • John MacDougall
    Issue 9-41a, November 20th, 2006 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. CALL: Be a foster parent for Indonesian Species! 2. SCHOLARSHIP: SUFONAMA- Masters Course in Sustainable
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 21, 2006
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      Issue 9-41a, November 20th, 2006
      TABLE OF CONTENTS

      1. CALL: Be a foster parent for Indonesian Species!
      2. SCHOLARSHIP: SUFONAMA- Masters Course in Sustainable Forest and
      Nature Management
      3. SCHOLARSHIP: Universiti Brunei Darussalam Research Fellowships
      4. INTERNSHIP: Smithsonian Research Training Program
      5. ARTICLE: Visit of Dutch Minister to Sebangau National Park
      6. RELEASE: Center seeks protection for 56 vanishing birds and five
      imperiled butterflies around the world
      7. RELEASE: Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources
      8. RELEASE: World Wildlife Fund hails new agreement to combat
      illegal logging

      ENGLISH PRESS CLIPPINGS

      1. Biofuel promotion rolls on
      2. Safari Park receives award
      3. El Nino may spell trouble for Indonesian orangutans
      4. Global warming could cause bird extinctions-WWF
      5. Ministry to develop 500,000 hectares of small-holders` forests
      in 2007
      6. The problem with Palm
      7. Forests begin to revive as global devastation of trees is reversed
      8. Fish found in Perak could be world's second smallest
      9. Indonesia may seek rainforest conservation compensation to fight
      global warming
      10. Australia, Indonesia sign fishing deal
      11. New records of pandanaceae found in Yapen island, Papua
      12. Kehati gives awards for protecting biodiversity
      13. It's hot, and getting hotter
      14. Lack of land and incentives hamper biofuel investment
      15. US, Indonesia sign pact to fight illegal logging
      16. Sabah forests protected by world-standard guidelines
      17. Orangutans displaced, killed by Indonesian forest fires
      18. Orangutans back in just a few days
      19. G-20 chiefs discuss climate change
      20. Avian flu still threatens SE Asia

      CALL: Be a foster parent for Indonesian Species!
      Indonesia is known for its mega-biodiversity. It is estimated that
      300,000 kinds of wild species or about 17 % of species in the world
      live in Indonesia, although Indonesia ranks number 1 for its richness
      in mammals (515 types of species) and is the habitat from about 1539
      bird species and a total of 45 % of fish live in Indonesia.

      Although rich in biodiversity, Indonesia is also known for a country
      with a long list species, threatened with extinction. Currently, the
      number of critically endangered species amounts to 147 types of
      mammals, 114 types of birds, 28 types of reptiles, 91 types of fish
      and 28 types of invertebrate (IUCN, 2003) due to poaching, trade and
      illegally cared for in the last 2 decades. These species will be
      extinct if we do not act to save them.

      Animal rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC) is a non-profit and
      non-governmental institution committed to Indonesian wildlife
      conservation threatened from extinction.

      The Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC) main activities,
      also known as 3RE, consist of:

      * Rescue, to protect species from poaching, trade and illegal care.
      * Rehabilitation, to take care and train animals so they have the
      capabilities to go back and survive in their original habitat.
      * Release, to release the animals to their original habitat.
      * Education, to increase social awareness on the importance of
      Indonesian species and wildlife conservation.

      At the 14 acres Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC), the
      rare species that have been in some time live in humans hands undergo
      `training' or rehabilitation so they can be returned to their natural
      habitat. For one individual species, this process will take about 1-3
      years depending on the capability of the individual species and the
      willingness of its natural habitat in welcoming their presence back.

      We call out to people to be aware and concerned about the conservation
      of Indonesian wild species by becoming their "foster parent" for
      Indonesian wildlife undergoing "school" in the Animal Rescue and
      Rehabilitation Center. How?

      * You are an individual or institution concerned about Wildlife
      Conservation.
      * Below, we present you the total maintenance cost per animal/month
      * You may select the type and the amount of animals you would like
      to sponsor.
      * Contact us via telephone or email to register
      * You will receive a Foster Parent for Indonesian Wildlife Certificate
      * You may send your sponsorship to Animal Rescue and
      Rehabilitation Center Account No. 6721103-9, BNI UGM Yogyakarta
      * a.n Sri Endang S / Ari Sukoco
      * Your name / institution will be attached in the cages of the
      individual species you sponsor.
      * You have the right to receive monthly report on the animal's
      condition; weekly news will be sent regularly to your email address.
      * You have the right to visit and obtain information on your
      Foster animal in the center.
      * We would like to thank you for your concern on the Indonesian
      nature conservation.
      * Contact us at:

      Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (ARRC)
      Desa Sendangsari, Pengasih, Kulonprogo, DIY
      No. Telp. 0274 – 7493977 (office0
      Mobile Phone: 08157101479 (Sugihartono)
      Mobile Phone: 081328700581 (Panji Kusumah)
      Email: maskutilang@...
      ppsjogja@...

      Below, we present you the total maintenance cost per animal/month:

      No. Species Class Quantity Cost per species/month"
      1. Prevost's Squirrel Mammalia 1 31,000
      2. Kura-Kura Bajuku (Orlitia borneensis) Reptile 70 5,200
      3. Malayan Sun Bear Mammalia 5 381,300
      4. Pig-Tailed Monkey Mammalia 6 154,988
      5. Binturong Mammalia 1 140,386
      6. Estuarine Crocodile Reptile 27 153,000
      7. Changeable hawk Eagle Aves 6 106,500
      8. Black Eagle Aves 1 106,500
      9. Fish Eagle Aves 1 81,220
      10. Sea Eagle Aves 6 81,220
      11. Crested Serpent Eagle Aves 7 106,500
      12. Bali starling Aves 1 46,000
      13. Wreathed hornbill Aves 1 88,000
      14. Kacembang gadung (Irena puella) Aves 1 46,000
      15. Sulphur Crested Cockatoo Aves 28 31,445
      16. Palm Cockatoo Aves 2 31,445
      17. Tanimbar Corella Aves 20 31,445
      18. Kangkareng (Hornbill) Aves 2 88,000
      19. Purple-naped lory Aves 1 31,445
      20. Pecquat's Parrot Aves 1 31,445
      21. Chattering Lory Aves 2 31,445
      22. DoubleWattled Cassoary Aves 5 258,500
      23 Long-tailed Macaque Mammalia 5 175,000
      24. Barking Deer Mammalia 14 193,400
      25. Slow Loris Mammalia 1 106,000
      26. Kura kura leher ular (Chelodina novaeguineae) Reptile 1 5,200
      27. Kuya batok (Cuora amboinensis) Reptile 253 5,200
      28. Giant Fresh Water Turtle Reptile 3 5,200
      29. Freshwater turtles (Carettochelys Insclupta) Reptile 0 5,200
      30. Porcupine Mammalia 8 105,100
      31. Silvered Leaf-Monkey Mammalia 4 175,000
      32. Western Crown Pigeon Aves 4 52,000
      33. Victoria Crown Pigeon Aves 3 52,000
      34. Peacock Aves 19 56,000
      35. Eclectus Parrot Aves 9 46,400
      36. Gibbon Mammalia 11 185,000
      37. Moluccan Red Lory Aves 2 46,400
      38. Black Capped Lory Aves 31 46,400
      39. Rainbow Lorikeet Aves 2 46,400
      40. Sambar Deer Mammalia 5 193,500
      41. Timor Deer Mammalia 6 193,500
      42. Siamang Mammalia 26 181,500
      43. Banded Leaf-monkey Mammalia 1 228,450
      Total Population 603

      "cost of food and medication in Rupiah

      BACK
      SCHOLARSHIP: SUFONAMA- Masters Course in Sustainable Forest and Nature
      Management
      We propose an integrated two-year world-class Masters Course in
      Sustainable Forest and Nature Management (SUFONAMA). The overall
      objective is to provide a top-level programme that qualifies graduates
      to deal with the huge challenges in Europe's pursuit of an evermore
      sustainable management of her natural resources, namely, that the
      management of forests and nature areas must be seen in an integrated
      landscape context. To obtain the SUFONAMA double degree and the
      Diploma Supplement, students have to acquire 120 ECTS credits by
      studying at two Consortium institutions, acquiring at least 60 ECTS
      credits at each. All SUFONAMA modular activities are completed in
      English. Due to the one-year Course components, SUFONAMA encourages
      its student body to engange in local language studies available at all
      the partner institutions. The total students population is expected to
      be 150.

      The Master Course is organized by a Consortium which involves five
      institutions:
      1. The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Centre for
      Forest, Landscape and Planning, Copenhagen, Denmark;
      2. University of Wales, School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences,
      Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom;
      3. University of Goettingen, Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology,
      Goettingen, Germany;
      4. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish
      Forest Research Centre, Alnarp, Sweden;
      5. University of Padova, College of Agriculture, Padova, Italy.
      Coordinator - Prof. Niels Strange - Center for Forest, Landscape and
      Planning - Copenhagen, Denmark - e-mail : nst@...

      Form and requirements are available for download at:
      http://www.sufonama.net/eng/News/page_34_93/k652.html

      BACK
      SCHOLARSHIP: Universiti Brunei Darussalam Research Fellowships
      Universiti Brunei Darussalm (UBD) offers a number of Research
      Fellowships for research on Brunei subjects or on topics which are
      related to or based on the needs of Brunei Darussalam. The
      fellowships, tenable at Universiti Brunei Darussalam and open to
      academics and researchers of recognized universities/research
      institutions, are subject to the following terms and conditions:

      1. Tenure of Fellowship

      2. The Fellowship is normally tenable for one calendar year.
      Monthly Allowance

      A monthly allowance is payable at the following rates:
      * B$2,000 p.m. for a Fellow with an Honours degree
      * B$2,500 p.m. for a Fellow with a Master's degree
      * B$3,000 p.m. for a fellow with a Ph.D.
      3. For the KBFSC Fellowship, only applicants with a Ph.D.
      qualification will be considered. Accommodation

      4. The University will endeavour to provide accommodation (shared
      for a single Fellow) for which a monthly rental not exceeding B$120
      will be charged. Medical Care

      5. Medical and dental treatment at the General Hospital will be
      made available for the Fellow, the spouse and dependent children not
      exceeding 18 years of age, if accompanying the Fellow. Return Air
      Passages

      6. For overseas candidates, return air passages by the most
      economical and most direct route for the Fellow will be provided.
      Return air passages will also be provided for the spouse if the
      approved initial period of the Fellowship is 12 months. Office, Bench
      Space and Other Facilities

      7. Office and laboratory facilities at UBD, and Library and
      computer facilities, where applicable, will be provided. Reciprocal
      Assistance

      8. The Fellow will be required to participate and assist in the
      academic activities of the Faculty/Department to which he/she is
      attached, e.g.teaching, helping to supervise higher degree students,
      participating in Faculty/departmental seminars, etc. Use of Research
      Findings

      9. The Fellow is required to make available his/her research
      findings for use by UBD and the Brunei Government. Publications and
      Acknowledgement

      10. UBD and specific Faculty or Department must be acknowledged in
      the publications of the Fellow. Copies of any report, article,
      dissertation or thesis resulting from the research carried out in
      Brunei Darussalam must be submitted for deposit in the UBD Library and
      the Brunei Museum. An interim report must be submitted to the
      University before the Fellow leaves Brunei. Areas of Research

      11. Research proposals may be submitted to be undertaken in any of
      the following University Departments:
      * Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: Economics, English
      Language & Applied Linguistics, Geography, History, Malay Language &
      Linguistics and Malay Literature.
      * Faculty of Education: Arts and Social Sciences Education,
      Educational Foundations, Educational Psychology, In-service Education,
      Language Education, Science and Mathematics Education, Early Childhood
      Education.
      * Faculty of Islamic Studies: Syariah, Usuluddin and Dakwah,
      Arabik Language and Islamic Civilisation.
      * Faculty of Management and Administrative Studies:
      Management Studies, Public Policy and Administration.
      * Faculty of Science: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and
      Physics
      * Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre, Biodiversity, Ecology
      and Forest Dynamics
      * Academy of Brunei Studies
      12. Application Forms

      Application forms (Research Fellowships) are available from:
      Registrar and Secretary
      Universiti Brunei Darussalam
      Bandar Seri Begawan, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
      Telephone: + 246 3001 Extension 1269
      Fax: + 246 1003

      For the KBFSC Fellowship, application form can be obtained
      directly from:
      The Director, Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre,
      Universiti Brunei Darussalam,
      Tungku Link Road, Bandar Seri Begawan BE 1410, Brunei Darussalam
      Telephone: + 673 246 3001 Extension 1377
      Fax: + 673 246 3068
      E.mail address: kamsalim@...

      All applications for any of the Fellowships above must be
      accompanied by a brief CV and a complete research project proposal,
      and need to be submitted to the Registrar. Those applying for the
      KBFSC Fellowship, the completed form with CV and research project
      proposal can be submitted directly to the Director.

      1. Closing Date

      The closing date for receipt of applications for the Kuala
      Belalong Field Studies Centre will be on 31st December 2006. For other
      Faculties, please contact the Registrar for the closing dates.

      ONLY SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES WILL BE NOTIFIED

      Eds. Thanks to Cam Webb for forwarding it.

      BACK
      INTERNSHIP: Smithsonian Research Training Program
      28 May 2007 - 6 August 2007

      Application Deadline: 1 February 2007

      The Research Training Program is a museum-based, in-residence program
      exclusively for currently enrolled, English proficient, college-level
      undergraduate students interested in a career in the biological,
      geological or anthropological sciences. Through a competitive review
      process approximately 20 outstanding students from around the world
      are selected each year to participate. Students partner with a
      Smithsonian scientist to investigate a natural history research topic
      as well as participate in a series of lectures, workshops,
      demonstrations, behind-the-scenes tours, and field trips that focused
      on exploring natural history science and developing the skills
      necessary to become effective researchers. Students, in collaboration
      with their Smithsonian research advisor, develop and test a scientific
      hypothesis and communicate the results through written manuscripts
      plus oral and poster presentations. Research is conducted in-residence
      at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington,
      DC utilizing the vast research facilities and collection of the Museum
      including 127 million natural history specimens.

      Comments RTP '06 participant Sheena Ketchum: "The RTP lectures and
      tours provided me with a completely rounded and hands-on natural
      history education that is impossible to obtain anywhere else. Only
      here, and only through the RTP, over a course of ten weeks, could I
      have held a stone hand axe from Olduvai Gorge, touched a Mars
      meteorite, examined a 8,000 year-old skeleton from North America,
      played with a Clovis Point, worn a giant sapphire ring, held an
      atlatl, seen a coelacanth, picked up a piece of the world's mantle,
      seen specimens collected by historical figures such as: Theodore
      Roosevelt and Charles Darwin, had *of a pound of gold thrown at me,
      ran my finger along the KT Boundary, smelled fossilized dung, seen the
      "Soap Man" and other mummies, examined Hopewellian beads made out of a
      meteorite, touched pieces of the Burgess Shale, seen countless type
      specimens, viewed the shrunken heads of the Jivaro, held a 4.56
      billion-year-old meteorite, visited the rare books collection, seen a
      giant squid, experienced "museum time" first hand, as well as
      countless other experiences."

      Participants are provided stipend ($3,000), plus housing and travel.
      Detailed information and application materials are available
      electronically at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/

      For more information, contact:

      Mary Sangrey
      Director, Research Training Program
      Head, Office of Academic Services
      phone: 202-633-4548
      fax: 202-786-0153
      e-mail: sangreym@...
      web: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/ and
      http://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/other_opps/

      Mail to:

      10th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
      P.O. Box 37012
      MRC 106 NHB, Room 59A
      National Museum of Natural History
      Smithsonian Institution
      Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
      SANGREYM@...

      Eds. Thanks to Cam Webb for forwarding it.

      BACK
      ARTICLE: Visit of Dutch Minister to Sebangau National Park
      WWF Indonesia - November 20, 2006

      On October 10th, 2006 Dutch Minister of International Development Mrs.
      Agnes van Ardenne together with Indonesia Minister of Environment
      visited Sebangau NP.

      Boat tour to Sebangau in the middle of hazy and unhealth weather due
      to land and forest fire was part of activity series Minister van
      Ardenne in relation with her country contribution in financing project
      of restoration and management of peatland in Central Kalimantan. This
      project is called Central Kalimantan Peatland Project (CKPP) and
      executed by six project executors united in one consortium i.e.
      WWF-Indonesia, BOS-Mawas Program, Wetlands International Indonesia
      Program, Care International Indonesia and Palangka Raya University.

      Joining in the ministers also CEO of WWF-Indonesia Dr. Mubariq Ahmad,
      the team left Kereng Bangkirai Port in the afternoon and after
      spending around 25 minutes the groups stopped by a site near Sebangau
      River where community canal blocking was on-going. Minister van
      Ardenne in enthusiastic way saw people were filling in small dam with
      soilsacks. She were able to speak with several dambuilders who are
      local people and also owner of the small canal.

      About 15 minutes later, the groups left for research station of
      WWF-Indonesia, still near the Sebangau River. It takes almost 20
      minutes from the previous location. The station is located near one of
      the biggest canals in the park. This canal is recognized as Canal SSI,
      its former consession company Sanintra Sebangau Indah (SSI). This
      canal reaches 24 km long to the depth of Sebangau forest.

      It was dry season that canal usually get severely dried and therefore
      boat could not move further inside from the mouth of canal. It took 5
      minutes by foot to get the station and see photo presentation panel
      inside to get good picture of what WWF has done in the Sebangau NP.

      Canal SSI in Sebangau NP is a representative location to show
      comprehensive condition of the park. Here visitors will be able to see
      various aspects of the park, from peat land degradation, bad and good
      forests, and the current rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation
      efforts.

      Still in the same location Minister van Ardenne and Minister Witoelar
      then walked further to 150 meters and saw dam, degraded areas,
      seedling site and replanted areas. Collaboration embryo is
      demonstrated here as WWF and government of Pulang Pisau District have
      together established the rehabilitation activity in the location. WWF
      built dams on the canal to increase the water level and soil humidity
      while district government replanted the open areas, at left and right
      side by the canal. More than 300.000 seeds of valuable trees like
      Jelutung (Dyera lowii) dan Blangiran (Shorea blangeran) were provided
      to regreen 400 Ha of the barren forest.

      Before leaving the research station, Minister Agnes van Ardenne,
      Minister Rachmat Witoelar and CEO WWF-Indonesia Mubariq Ahmad planted
      trees.

      In her visit Minister Ardenne and Minister Witoelar expressed their
      concern on forest fire and haze disaster happening in Sebangau NP but
      at the same time appreciated concrete efforts by all parties to avoid
      and to mitigate environmental damage happens in the park. "… I'm glad
      that Sebangau has become national park. I saw the water level there is
      very low and highly appreciated hard works conducted to handle this
      situation," said Minister Ardenne. (English Program Afternoon Tea,
      TVRI Kalteng, Sunday October 15, 2006). Futhermore the minister said
      that her country will continue to support rehabilitation and
      sustainable management of peat land in Central Kalimantan. While
      Minister Witoelar emphasized that Indonesia richness in nature is to
      be conserved including its peat land areas.

      In the group came too representatives of Wetlands International Head
      Quarter, Wetlands International Indonesia Program and BOS-Mawas
      Program. Beside the visit to Sebangau NP, ministers were able to see
      in-location fire fighting demonstration by Village Fire Brigade by
      people of Tumbang Nusa Village, Pulang Pisau District. This fire
      brigade is established and facilitated by CKPP.
      FIRE IS BURNING THE SEBANGAU NATIONAL PARK
      By end of September 2006 fire unevitably reached the forests of
      Sebangau NP both from Sebangau River at the east and Katingan River at
      the west side. Fire moved in sporadic way diminishing dried vegetation
      at the brink of river. In dry season bushes and small trees are easy
      to get burn when fire emerged. Many ex, old and abandoned timber
      sawmills were victims of fire too, this happened particularly at
      Katingan River. Until today, predicted more than 60 hectares burning
      areas in Sebangau NP.

      The most severe fire occured around location at left and right sides
      of road development in Katingan District that penetrates the Sebangau
      NP. Fire even cut the road and separated the road body between the
      finished and semi-finished parts at KM 6. Big fire had scraped the
      peat land areas while strong haze reducing the visibility to only
      20-50 meters ahead. To make it worse, trees lost the roots and falling
      down to the land. Some even blocking the road. This has been long
      predicted by WWF that this road will cause heavy drought in dry season
      and will be burnt anyhow. WWF has been striving for cancellation to
      further road development entering thick peatland. Fire wiped out not
      only forests but its living creatures as it is home to many plants and
      animals. Mammals like long tail macaque and Borneo proboscis monkeys
      were spotted as they were trying to escape from fires.

      Fact: peat land >= 3 meters deep is only to be conserved. Any
      intervention on it will destruct the ecological system nearby.

      Efforts to ease the fire mostly conducted by Fire Brigades of local
      office of Forestry Department (Nature Conservation Office in Central
      Kalimantan/BKSDA). Team are supported by Mendawai Village Fire Brigade
      (established by CKPP). WWF and CKPP financed the operational cost for
      fire fighting activity in Sebangau NP. Unfortunately the burning areas
      is too large that equipments and personnels became uneffective to cope
      with the fire. Fire now spreads under surface causing difficulty for
      fire fighters to penetrate the burning areas. According to the member
      of Mendawai Village Fire Brigade, green and dense forests near the
      hill have been dissapeared by fire.

      Overall BKSDA has mobilized four groups of fire brigade, each with 15
      field staff to Sebangau NP. Efforts by those brigades were blockade
      unburnt forest area, pouring water over or by injecting water into
      under part of burning area.
      CANAL BLOCKING IN SEBANGAU NATIONAL PARK
      One threat Sebangau dealing with is canal. One of WWF activities to
      overcome this matter is blocking the canal. Peat lands were dug to
      create network tranportation connecting forest and rivers both small
      and big ones. This human-made canal is threatening natural resources
      and peat land ecosystem. To avoid more destructive impact to peat
      land, canal has to be blocked in order to increase water level and
      humidity that finally keep the soil moist and not easily get burn
      especially in dry season.

      Canal blocking in Sebangau NP is categorized into two terms: big canal
      and small canal (usually belong to individual or small group
      ownership). There are 17 canals underwent blocking activities and 16
      of them are small size canals. Big canal namely Canal SSI has 4 dams
      firmly installed, while the small size has one dam put on the mouth of
      the respective canal. All of current canals are those located near
      Sebangau River. Particularly for community canals, prior to the
      execution of blocking activity, WWF team met the owners and
      disseminated information on the importance of canal blocking to avoid
      land and forest fire in peat land areas. By approval from the
      "owners", canal blocking is able to be conducted. Today WWF has built
      20 dams in 17 canals.

      Canal blocking is measured to be effective. This indicates by fact
      that no fire happens in areas on left and right sides of canal SSI in
      year 2006, as it did in previous years. Though fire was unavoidable at
      other locations near the bank of Sebangau River. Blocking of canal SSI
      has increased water level and soil humidity that plants are able to
      grow and get dense even in dry months currently.

      Canal blocking method implemented in the Sebangau NP is adoption of
      local tradition called 'tabat'. In dry season Dayak people usually
      block small branch of streamwater in order to increase the water level
      so their wooden canoe can pass across. This tradition is then adopted
      to repair the degraded peatland suffering extra drought in every dry
      season. WWF has identified more canals to block in the west side of
      Sebangau NP, from Katingan River. Community Forums will be involved in
      the implementation.
      BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF PEAT LAND
      Years back Sebangau was a timber empire, hundreds of sawmill along the
      rivers pulling out the trees from forest. Forest fire degraded the
      quality of nature. Just before being national park, no significant
      efforts taken to heal the land. Now about 40% of Sebangau NP is
      degraded land. While land rehabilitation in Sebangau is on the way,
      emerged an effort to build road on thick peat land and penetrating the
      protected forest. To open isolation in Katingan District, now 20 km
      out of 114.8 km has realized by local government.

      Advocation to stop further development of the road on peat land still
      continue until today. WWF have predicted that fire will eventually
      occur in areas nearby when dry season come. It is now tried-and-true.
      Tremendous fire perished forest toward a hill inside. No more
      beautiful and green forest and valuable trees lost. Fire fighters lost
      their power over fire. Don't count lost of biodiversity, flora and
      fauna living inside.

      There is a point where conservation and development are met. But not
      in here where road lies on peat land toward Palangka Raya Municipal.
      Not in here where not even one village exists. And not in here where
      the forest holds valuable trees if only it were not a protected area.

      In the middle of the enduring haze and fire, in a formal meeting held
      on November 8, 2006 Government of Katingan District finally declared
      the road development to fully halted, no further construction will be
      executed and redirected route to another road alternative traversing
      villages following the river path to Kasongan, the capital city of
      Katingan District. The cost of is astronomical, it costs more than 2
      trillions rupiahs and about 80% of overall construction were ordained
      to form fly-over bridges. Not to mention ecological loss occurs every
      dry season when fire unevitably happens. Now Sebangau NP is quite
      safe. Let's hope this endures forever.

      For more information:
      Nancy Ariaini (Ochie)
      Communications Officer
      WWF-Indonesia Central Kalimantan
      E-mail: nariaini@...
      Or wwfid-kalteng@...

      BACK
      RELEASE: Center seeks protection for 56 vanishing birds and five
      imperiled butterflies around the world
      Center for Biological Diversity - November 16, 2006
      San Fransisco

      Lawsuit Challenges Unreasonable Delays in Endangered Species
      Protection for Imperiled Species, Including Okinawa Woodpecker

      The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a lawsuit in federal
      court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for failing
      to provide protection for scores of the world's most imperiled bird
      species, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
      The species include the rare Okinawa Woodpecker in Japan and 55 other
      vanishing birds from around the globe. Also at issue is protection for
      five of the world's rarest and most beautiful butterfly species.

      At least 11 additional bird species not included in the lawsuit have
      already gone extinct due to long delays in protecting them, according
      to Peter Galvin, Conservation Director with the Center.

      Other bird species in the suit include the Giant Ibis (Laos/Cambodia),
      Blue-throated Macaw (Bolivia), Black Stilt (New Zealand), Caerulean
      Paradise-flycatcher (Indonesia) and Slender-billed Curlew (Russia,
      Europe and North Africa). The butterflies include the Harris' Mimic
      Swallowtail (Brazil) and Kaiser-I-Hind butterfly (Nepal/China).

      The USFWS first determined that protection is warranted under the
      Endangered Species Act (ESA) more than two decades ago for many of
      these species. Two dozen of the bird species have been waiting for
      final action since 1984, and 27 have been waiting since 1994. It has
      been more than a decade since the USFWS received a petition to list
      the foreign butterflies. Despite clear evidence that these species are
      imperiled – and despite 11 bird species going extinct while waiting to
      be added to the threatened or endangered list – the agency has
      unconscionably continued to delay federal protection for the remaining
      species, illegally designating them as "warranted but precluded" from
      protection under the Act.

      "The U.S. has a responsibility to help protect these magnificent birds
      for future generations," says Galvin. "We can limit trade in these
      vanishing species, and better assist with conservation and recovery
      efforts if they are listed under the Endangered Species Act."

      ESA listing for foreign endangered species further restricts buying
      and selling imperiled wildlife, can increase conservation funding and
      attention, and brings a higher level of scrutiny to projects proposed
      by the U.S. government and multilateral lending agencies such as the
      World Bank.

      Endangered Species Act protection is particularly relevant for the
      Okinawa Woodpecker (Sapheopipo noguchii), due to ongoing destruction
      of its forest habitat. A small number of woodpeckers remain in
      undisturbed subtropical forests in the northern mountainous region of
      the island of Okinawa, Japan. A major threat to woodpecker habitat is
      a joint U.S. and Japanese military proposal to construct additional
      helicopter training landing areas, including roads and infrastructure.
      "The Okinawa Woodpecker is an international treasure as well as an
      ecological and cultural icon for Okinawans," says Galvin.

      The USFWS has delayed publishing proposed listing rules for six of the
      birds, although it determined in May 2004 that they warrant listing.
      The species are the Giant Ibis (Laos, Cambodia), Black Stilt (New
      Zealand), Gurney's Pitta (Myanmar/Burma, Thailand), Socorro
      Mockingbird (Mexico), Caerulean Paradise-flycatcher (Sulawesi,
      Indonesia), and Long-legged Thicketbird (Fiji).

      The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in 2003 against the
      USFWS for unreasonable delays in responding to Endangered Species Act
      listing petitions submitted in 1980 and 1991 for 73 foreign birds.
      That case forced the agency to issue a long-overdue finding in 2004
      that 51 of the birds warrant ESA listing, but the agency now claims
      listing is "precluded" by higher-priority listing actions – promising
      to list only six of the most endangered bird species. The USFWS also
      determined in 2004 that the five butterfly species are "warranted but
      precluded."

      Under the Endangered Species Act, the USFWS may issue a "warranted but
      precluded" finding on a species that would otherwise merit protection,
      as long as the agency demonstrates that it is making expeditious
      progress to list other species. In this case, it has not. The Bush
      administration has listed fewer species under the ESA than any other
      administration since the law was enacted in 1973, to date only listing
      56 species compared to 512 under Clinton and 234 under Bush Sr.
      While awaiting ESA protection, several of the bird species are
      suffering harm from trapping and trade (primarily for sale as pets),
      such as the Uvea Parakeet (New Caledonia), Salmon-crested Cockatoo
      (Indonesia) and Blue-throated Macaw (Bolivia). The macaw likely only
      numbers between 75 and 150 individual birds in the wild. The cockatoo
      and macaw are supposed to be protected by the Convention on
      International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but this treaty has
      weaker enforcement provisions than the ESA.

      The Okinawa Woodpecker lives only in Yanbaru, a small ecologically
      unique area of forested woodlands in northern Okinawa. The
      International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
      and Japan's Ministry of Environment have designated the woodpecker a
      "critically endangered" species because it is a single, tiny and
      declining population. The woodpecker is the prefectural bird of
      Okinawa and designated a "national natural monument."

      The Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris) is one of the most
      critically imperiled bird species in the world. Once commonly sighted
      along its migration route from Europe to Africa, only two curlews have
      been seen since 1997 and it has been more than 85 years since a human
      last saw a curlew nest. The curlew's wintering marsh habitat in the
      Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and North Africa is being rapidly
      destroyed, and the current world population may be a mere 50-270 birds.

      More information about the bird and butterfly species, the lawsuit,
      and the Okinawa Woodpecker is available on the Center's web site.
      The Center for Biological Diversity is a national non-profit
      conservation organization with more than 25,000 members dedicated to
      protecting endangered species and their habitat.

      Contact:
      Peter Galvin, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 986-7805
      Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185

      BACK
      RELEASE: Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources
      PressZoom - November 16, 2006

      An increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from
      deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for
      the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more
      sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover.

      An increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from
      deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for
      the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more
      sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover.

      The novel approach looks beyond simply how much of a nation's area is
      covered by trees and considers the volume of timber, biomass, and
      captured carbon within the area. It produces an encouraging picture of
      Earth's forest situation and may change the way governments size up
      their woodland resources in future.

      Devised by six distinguished international academic and
      non-governmental experts in forestry science and economics, the
      "Forest Identity" considers both area and the density of trees per
      hectare to determine the volume of a country's "growing stock": trees
      large enough to be considered timber. The formula also quantifies the
      biomass and atmospheric carbon stored in world forests and will help
      track those forest characteristics over time.

      Applying the formula to UN-collected data released last year, the
      researchers find that, amid widespread concerns about deforestation,
      growing stock has in fact expanded over the past 15 years in 22 of the
      world's 50 countries with most forest. In countries where per capita
      Gross Domestic Product exceeds US $4,600 ( roughly equal to the GDP of
      Chile ), richer is greener. In about half of the most forested
      countries biomass and carbon also expanded. Earlier work showed that
      by the 1980s wooded areas in all major temperate and boreal forests
      were exanding.

      Forest area and biomass are still being lost in such important
      countries as Brazil and Indonesia but an increasing number of nations
      show gains. The forests of Earth's two most populated nations no
      longer increase atmospheric carbon concentration: China's forests are
      expanding; India's have reached equilibrium – changes due in large
      part to urban migration, agricultural yield increases and
      reforestation policies.

      The paper, peer-reviewed by the US journal Proceedings of the National
      Academy of Sciences, was created by six experts from diverse academic
      disciplines ( forestry, environmental technology, ecology, geography,
      resource economics, and agronomy ) in China, Finland, Scotland, and
      the USA who, following independent lines of thinking, came to agree
      that forest transition on a major scale is underway and have now
      collectively demonstrated it.

      The new way of measuring forests reflects the comprehensiveness of new
      FAO studies, a new consistency of measurement protocols and reliable
      ways of translating area, volume, and tons across countries.

      Among the 50 nations studied, forest area in percentage terms shrank
      fastest from 1990 to 2005 in Nigeria and the Philippines, and expanded
      fastest in Viet Nam, Spain and China.

      Growing stock fell fastest in Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines,
      and increased fastest in the Ukraine and Spain.

      In absolute terms, Indonesia and Brazil experienced the greatest
      losses of both forested square kilometers and cubic meters of growing
      stock; China and the USA achieved the greatest gains.

      "The Forest Identity separates nations into classes of expanding and
      shrinking forest that clarify the causes of changing forest expanse,
      timber, biomass, and carbon," says lead author, Pekka E. Kauppi of the
      University of Helsinki, Finland. The co-authors are Jesse H. Ausubel,
      Rockefeller University, USA; Jingyun Fang, Peking University, Beijing,
      China; Alexander Mather, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; Roger A.
      Sedjo, Resources for the Future, USA; and Paul E. Waggoner, The
      Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, USA.

      Says Mr. Ausubel, an environmental scientist: "Earth suffered an
      epidemic of deforestation. Now humans may help spread an epidemic of
      forest restoration."
      Changes in growing stock, 1990 to 2005
      Using data from the Global Forest Resources Assessment of 2005,
      published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the researchers
      plot on a graph the shift from 1990 to 2005 in the forest density and
      area of 50 countries to reveal the change in their respective growing
      stock.

      The authors say Japan's forest cover area is virtually unchanged since
      World War II ( 22.2 million hectares in 1947 vs. 23.7 million hectares
      today ). However the density of its forests has risen, producing an
      average 1.6% annual increase in the volume of growing stock.

      "China has experienced falling forest density in many parts of the
      country since 1949, but its area of forested land has steadily risen,"
      notes ecologist Dr. Fang of Beijing. "The net result: an increase in
      China's growing stock, biomass, and carbon sequestration."

      The graph shows Indonesia down roughly 2% per year in forested area
      and down 4% in density. At the other end of the spectrum is Spain,
      which increased its forested area by 2% per year and its density by
      almost 1%.

      With one exception, the growing stock grew from 1990 to 2005 in the 50
      most forested nations with more than about $4,600 GDP per capita. In
      the exception, Canada improbably reported identical area and growing
      stock in 1990 and 2005.

      Evidently, prosperity and measures such as good governance that raise
      income need not shrink forests, according to the paper.
      Forest "transitions"
      While forest density data are relatively new, forest area data
      spanning 200 years show several places worldwide have shifted from net
      deforestation to net reforestation – the "forest transition."

      "Forest transitions," says geographer and historian Dr. Mather, who
      coined the term, "occurred between 1810 and 1930 from the lowlands of
      Denmark to the mountains of Switzerland, and from the highlands of
      Scotland to Russia."

      In France, where forest cover over time is especially well-documented,
      forest area expanded by one-third after that nation's transition circa
      1830 until 1960 – and by a further 25% from 1960 to 2005.

      In the USA, meanwhile, the forests of industrial and urbanized
      Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois have expanded by more
      than half since their respective transitions in the 1800s. In
      Connecticut, where the first USA transition occurred, forests covered
      about 30% of the state in 1860 and 60% in 2002.

      While forest resources are stable or increasing in countries where per
      capita GDP exceeds US $4,600, the results in India and China ( both of
      which fall short of this income level ) show the importance and impact
      of government policies.

      In China, reforestation and afforestation efforts have led to an
      increase in forest area from 96 million to 143 million hectares from
      the late 1970s to the early 2000s.

      Other Asian countries that have made the transition include South
      Korea and Viet Nam. Taken as a whole, the Asian continent recently
      experienced forest transition, having lost 792,000 hectares of forest
      between 1990 and 2000 but gaining just over 1 million hectares between
      2000 and 2005.

      The authors foresee still more nations achieving forest transitions
      within three decades.
      Forest transition at a global level
      When forest transition occurs at a global level depends largely on
      Brazil and Indonesia, where huge areas of tropical forests are rapidly
      being cut and cleared. Encouragingly, in many other tropical areas
      forests are re-growing. Studies in Central America show tree cover in
      El Salvador grew by about one-fifth from 1992 to 2001. Forests are
      also recovering fast in the Dominican Republic, in harsh contrast to
      deforested Haiti on the same Caribbean island.

      Says Dr. Kauppi: "The main obstacles to forest transition are
      fast-growing poor populations who burn wood to cook, sell it for quick
      cash, and clear forest for crops. Harvesting biomass for fuel also
      forestalls the restoration of land to nature. Through paper recycling
      and a growing reliance on electronic communication, people help the
      transition by lessening demand for wood products."
      Anticipating impacts of expanding global trade
      The authors note that it's possible to sustain a large commercial
      harvest and expand "growing stock" at the same time.

      Says economist Dr. Sedjo: "The USA gained growing stock during 1990 to
      2005 while harvesting much round wood and some fuel. China did
      likewise. On the other hand, Indonesia and Brazil lost much growing
      stock without harvesting as much timber as either the USA or China."

      The authors also predict the share of industrial wood production in
      forest plantations will grow from an estimated one-third today to half
      by 2025 and three-quarters by 2050.

      "Plantations and the trade to make them effective reduce the impact of
      industrial pressures on the expanse of natural forests, which may be
      rich in soil carbon and biodiversity," adds Dr. Sedjo.
      Implications for climate change
      In addition to the measurement of forest area and growing stock, the
      researchers offer a formula to calculate atmospheric carbon being
      stored incrementally in the trees of a given area, knowledge critical
      for mitigating climate change.

      Says Dr. Waggoner: "A rapid forest transition at a global scale would
      mean that atmospheric CO2 might not rise as fast as many fear."

      As well, forest transitions are good news for wildlife like tigers and
      moose whose forest habitat has been decimated by human activity.
      Skinhead Earth?
      Earlier research showed farmers have so successfully learned to
      extract more crop from a given area that land needed for agriculture
      is shrinking, even as people become more numerous and eat better. In
      many countries forests have begun to enlarge, as farmers spare land
      and foresters also shift from extensive to intensive strategies.

      Says Mr. Ausubel: "This great reversal in land use could stop the
      styling of a Skinhead Earth and begin a great restoration of the
      landscape by 2050, expanding the global forest by 10 percent – about
      300 million hectares, the area of India."

      "Without depopulation or impoverishment, increasing numbers of
      countries are experiencing transitions in forest area and density,"
      adds Dr. Kauppi. "While complacency would be misplaced, our insights
      provide grounds for optimism about the prospects for returning forests."

      Contact Information:
      Project leader, Professor Pekka Kauppi
      tel: +358 9 191 58300, mobile: +358 40 760 5072
      email: pekka.kauppi@...

      Co-authors Pekka E. Kauppi ( Helsinki, Finland ), Jesse H. Ausubel (
      New York, USA ), Jingyun Fang ( Beijing, China ), Alexander Mather (
      Aberdeen, Scotland ), Roger A. Sedjo ( Washington DC, USA ), and Paul
      E. Waggoner ( New Haven, CT, USA.

      BACK
      RELEASE: World Wildlife Fund hails new agreement to combat illegal logging
      U.S. Newswire - November 20, 2006
      WASHINGTON

      World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today applauded a new agreement between the
      governments of the United States and Indonesia that will fight illegal
      logging in the Southeast Asian country, home to some of the most
      biologically diverse forests in the world. The two nations have
      expanded their collaboration to exchange vital information on the
      trade in illegally-harvested forest products and cooperate on law
      enforcement. The U.S. also announced that it has devoted $1 million to
      the effort.

      "This agreement represents a promising step towards preventing illegal
      logging, protecting endangered species and habitats throughout
      Indonesia and securing markets for legally-grown Indonesian wood and
      wood products," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World
      Wildlife Fund.

      According to a report from EIA, the U.S. directly imports over $700
      million in timber and wood products from Indonesia, where up to 80
      percent of logs are illegally cut. Over $1 billion in losses are
      incurred each year by the U.S. timber industry due to illegal logging
      abroad.

      "WWF is eager to support the U.S. and Indonesian governments in this
      promising initiative because it complements much of our ongoing work
      to prevent illegal logging and enhance trade in sustainable forest
      products," said Roberts. "Through our extensive field projects and our
      comprehensive efforts to positively impact policy and trade affecting
      the tropical forests of Indonesia, WWF is well-placed to help ensure
      that this initiative succeeds."

      On a global basis, the more than 300 companies participating in WWF's
      Global Forest & Trade Network have brought about 77,000 square miles
      of forest toward responsible management including forests in Indonesa.
      As an important component of its long-term conservation strategies,
      WWF is working diligently to expand responsible forest management on
      the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

      Globally, about 306,000 square miles of forestland -- 40,000 square
      miles bigger than Texas -- are devoted to sustainable management
      practices with about 25 percent of this area contributed by WWF
      programs. From 2005 to 2006, the trade in sustainably-harvested wood
      products has grown from $14 million dollars to $65.6 million.

      Contact:
      Tom Lalley of the World Wildlife Fund, 202-778-9544, or
      tom.lalley@...
      -----

      World Wildlife Fund is the largest conservation organization in the
      world. For 45 years, WWF has worked to save endangered species,
      protect endangered habitats and address global threats such as
      deforestation, overfishing and climate change. Known worldwide by its
      panda logo, WWF works in 100 countries on more than 2,000 conservation
      programs. WWF has 1.2 million members in the United States and nearly
      5 million supporters worldwide. For more information on WWF, visit
      http://www.worldwildlife.org

      BACK
      Biofuel promotion rolls on
      Source: The Jakarta Post - November 13, 2006
      Jakarta

      The country's latest green car roadshow, held Sunday, took 75 vehicles
      from Jakarta to Bandung and back. The event, sponsored by the Agency
      for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) involved
      several car enthusiast groups, including the local Renault and Toyota
      Kijang clubs. It was hoped that the drive would demonstrate that 5
      percent biofuel was not damaging to motor engines, although cars
      taking part in the roadshow did not have to be equipped with fuel
      converters.

      The convoy arrived at the Bandung Institute of Technology at noon to
      receive a biofuel presentation given by the university's researchers
      and the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society, which co-sponsored the event.

      Owners of the cars were given green stickers to place on their doors,
      showing their participation in the roadshow, which was also held to
      promote the 2006 National Energy Policy Presidential Decree and the
      government's clean air campaign.

      Engines running on biodiesel blends perform almost identically to
      those using regular fuel and produce less pollution, renewable energy
      technology researcher Herliyani Suharta told The Jakarta Post.
      "Besides car performance and creating a better environment, Indonesia
      must anticipate the depletion of fossil fuel resources and rising fuel
      prices by developing and consuming biofuel," Herliyani said.

      Vehicles with solar engines use biodiesel and those consuming premium
      gasoline use bioethanol. Both biofuels use a mix of 5 percent
      processed plant oils and 95 percent conventional premium or diesel
      fuel. Many recent car models can use 5 percent biofuel, made mainly
      from palm oil, with no complications.

      The director of the Indonesia Palm Oil Research Institute, Witjaksana
      Darmosarkoro, said other sources of biofuels, such as jatropha oil,
      still needed to go through a long development process before they
      could be used as a form of alternative energy.

      State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has begun selling palm
      oil-based biodiesel blends at most of its gas stations across Jakarta,
      showing that biodiesel is ready for large-scale sales. Currently,
      Pertamina sells the B-5 biodiesel blend at 178 of its 182 Jakarta gas
      stations. Biofuel is sold at the same price as regular petrol to make
      the alternative energy source more attractive to customers.

      Outside of Jakarta, B-5 is only available at one Pertamina gas station
      in Malang, East Java. One problem facing the future of biofuel in the
      country is whether the government is willing to use a large number of
      plant resources to produce it. Palm oil can also be used to make soap,
      cooking oil and pharmaceutical goods. (03)

      BACK
      Safari Park receives award
      Source: The Jakarta Post - November 13, 2006
      BOGOR

      Safari Park in Cisarua, Bogor, received an award recently from
      President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for its contribution to wildlife
      preservation. The park has helped to conserve several endangered
      species such as Sumatran elephants, Javanese bulls (Bos javanicus),
      and the Balinese starling.

      "It is a good example of a private institution that also has the
      concern to preserve wildlife," State Minister for the Environment
      Rachmat Witoelar was quoted by Antara as saying Sunday.

      The park was established by conservationist Tony Sumampau. The only
      other safari park in Indonesia is located in Prigen, East Java. -- JP

      BACK
      El Nino may spell trouble for Indonesian orangutans
      Source: Reuters – November 13, 2006
      By Achmad Sukarsono, Jakarta

      Indonesia's orangutan population, under threat from smog-producing
      forest fires this year, could be in graver danger in 2007 when dry El
      Nino conditions are expected to intensify in the region, an ecologist
      said on Monday. About 1,000 orangutans are estimated to have died in
      Indonesia during the dry season this year in which raging forest fires
      produced thick smoke across huge areas of Southeast Asia.

      Willie Smits, founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation,
      said if intentional burning of forest was not prevented, Indonesia
      would face a terrible haze season next year.
      "If we are looking at an El Nino which has a cooling in the Indian
      Ocean and a warming up in the Pacific Ocean, these are exactly the
      conditions that occurred in 1982-83 and 1997-98. Those were the two
      worst El Nino disasters. Next year we could look at a new world
      record," he said. "Having a rainy season is not going to solve it. We
      could look at new problems as early as April next year," he said. "If
      these orangutans are to survive, we better deal with the fire
      situation in the coming years."

      The annual fires are often deliberately lit by timber and palm oil
      plantation firms or farmers in Borneo and Indonesia's Sumatra island
      to clear land for cultivation, many of them in the same forests where
      the orangutans live.

      The worst fires in recent years occurred in 1997-98 during an intense
      El Nino that caused drought in parts of Southeast Asia, drying out
      forests and farmlands. Vast areas burned for months, blanketing a
      large part of the region in thick haze and costing economies billions
      of dollars.
      NUMBERS DROPPING SHARPLY
      Jakarta said around 90 percent of this year's fires have been
      extinguished, but Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said he feared
      they could flare again should dry El Nino conditions intensify. El
      Nino is a weather pattern caused by the warming of Pacific waters off
      South America and can disrupt global weather patterns, leading to
      drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and floods in parts of South
      America.

      In 2002, it was estimated there were 56,000 orangutans left in Borneo
      and 7,000 in Sumatra, but conservationists say the population has
      dwindled at a rate of 6,000 a year.

      Smits told a group of foreign journalists the mortality rate could be
      higher because of increased trafficking of the apes and other factors
      that are forcing orangutans to encroach upon human settlements.
      "The (orangutan) populations are all extremely threatened because of
      the fragmentation of the forest," said Smits, who leads the Gibbon
      Foundation, a group dedicated to animal conservation in Indonesia,
      including its orangutans. "The forest has to be intact in one big
      piece for a population as a total to survive."

      Most of the fires disappeared after rains started in recent weeks and
      some of them were put out after two leased Russian water-bombers flew
      into action.

      BACK
      Global warming could cause bird extinctions-WWF
      Source: Antara News - November 14, 2006
      Nairobi

      Unchecked climate change could force up to 72 per cent of bird species
      in some areas into extinction but the world still has a chance to
      limit the losses, conservation group WWF said in a report on Tuesday
      as quoted by Reuters.

      From migratory insect-eaters to tropical honeycreepers and cold water
      penguins, birds are highly sensitive to changing weather conditions
      and many are already being affected badly by global warming, the new
      study said.

      "Birds are the quintessential 'canaries in the coal mine' and are
      already responding to current levels of climate change," said the
      report, launched at a United Nations conference in Kenya on ways to
      slow warming.

      "Birds now indicate that global warming has set in motion a powerful
      chain of effects in ecosystems worldwide," WWF said.

      "Robust evidence demonstrates that climate change is affecting birds'
      behaviour -- with some migratory birds even failing to migrate at all."

      In the future, it said, unchecked warming could put large numbers of
      species at risk, with estimates of extinction rates as high as 72 per
      cent, "depending on the region, climate scenario and potential for
      birds to shift to new habitats".

      It said the "more extreme scenarios" of extinctions could be prevented
      if tough climate protection targets were enforced and greenhouse gas
      emissions cut to keep global warming increases to less than 2 degrees
      C (1.6 F) above pre-industrial levels.

      Already in decline in Europe and the United States, many migratory
      birds were now missing out on vital food stocks that are appearing
      earlier and earlier due to global warming, widely blamed by scientists
      on emissions from burning fossil fuels.

      In Canada's northern Hudson Bay, the report said, mosquitoes were
      hatching and reaching peak numbers earlier in the spring, but seabirds
      breeding there had not adjusted their behaviour. In the Netherlands,
      it added, a similar mismatch had led to the decline of up to 90 per
      cent in some populations of pied flycatchers over the last two decades.
      "Nowhere to go"
      Predicted rising temperatures could see Europe's Mediterranean coastal
      wetlands -- critical habitats for migratory birds -- completely
      destroyed by the 2080s, it said. Rising temperatures were also seen
      having disastrous impacts on non-migratory species, as their habitat
      ranges shifted.

      "Many centres of species richness for birds are currently located in
      protected areas, from which birds may be forced by climatic changes
      into unprotected zones," the report said.

      "Island and mountain birds may simply have nowhere to go."

      In the U.S., unabated warming was seen cutting bird species by nearly
      a third in the eastern Midwest and Great Lakes, while almost
      three-quarters of rainforest birds in Australia's northeastern Wet
      Tropics were at risk of being wiped out.

      "In Europe, the endangered Spanish imperial eagle, currently found
      mainly in natural reserves and parks, is expected to lose its entire
      current range," WWF's report said.

      Also at high risk were eight species of brightly coloured Hawaiian
      honeycreeper, Galapagos Islands penguins and the Scottish capercaillie
      -- the world's biggest grouse -- which WWF said could lose 99 per cent
      of its habitat due to warming. (*)

      BACK
      Ministry to develop 500,000 hectares of small-holders` forests in 2007
      Source: Antara News - November 14, 2006
      Jakarta

      The Forestry Ministry will develop some 500,000 hectares of
      small-holders` forests in 2007 as part of its efforts to realize the
      targeted 2-3 percent growth in the forestry sector.

      "We will try to realize it by accelerating the expansion of plantation
      forests. We will encourage people to develop plantation forests,"
      Forestry Minister MS Kaban said here on Tuesday after attending a
      discussion on "Making Well-Informed Choices About Forests." The
      discussion was organized in cooperation with the Centre for
      International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

      The minister said the forestry ministry was now trying its best to
      carry out three agendas in the forestry sector. The first agenda was
      to achieve the forestry sector`s 2-3 percent growth target which was
      part of the national economic growth target of 5-6 percent in 2009.

      The second agenda was to boost the real sector in the forestry sector
      which was based on small- and medium-scale businesses in urban areas
      and timber business centres in Java and outside Java.

      The third agenda was to empower the local people in areas around
      forests and in areas located within forests.

      "We hope the forests can be preserved by carrying out priority
      policies and the three agendas so that supply of raw timber will be
      guaranteed and the welfare of the local peoples improved," he said. (*)

      BACK
      The problem with Palm
      Source: Plenty Magazine – November 14, 2006
      Using palm oil to make biodiesel may cause more trouble than it
      prevents. By Sarah Parsons

      As fears of global warming continue to rise with gas prices, both
      corporations and environmentalists are looking into alternative fuel
      sources. Now, businesses abroad plan to make biodiesel from palm oil,
      a substance found in common household items like cookies, shampoo, and
      margarine. Toyota Motor Corp. announced in May that it will partner
      with Japan's Nippon Oil Corp. to develop biodiesel from palm oil, and
      the Malaysian government approved 54 projects this year alone to
      create B100, a biodiesel based from 100 percent palm oil, the
      country's main export.

      But while biofuels are cleaner-burning and produce fewer greenhouse
      gas emissions than regular fuel, some environmentalists believe the
      costs of palm oil-based biodiesel may outweigh the benefits.

      The problem in Malaysia and Indonesia, where more than 80 percent of
      the world's palm oil is produced, is that in most cases, rainforest
      areas are completely cleared to create oil palm plantations. According
      to a 2005 Friends of the Earth report, oil palm plantations have been
      responsible for about 87 percent of the rainforest deforestation in
      Malaysia.

      Not only does this practice wreak havoc on the countries' megafauna
      (such as orangutans, Sumatran rhinos and tigers, Asian elephants,
      gibbons, and tapirs), it also causes significant pollution. The United
      Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 25 to 30
      percent of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere each year
      (about 1.6 billion tons) comes from deforestation.

      "When you turn a product into a world commodity, you get corporations
      involved," says Tim Keating, executive director of Rainforest Relief.
      "Originally palm oil was collected by hand, but once you get
      corporations involved, you end up having forest clearing and mass
      plantations."

      Corporations first clear the land for its lucrative timber. Then they
      burn everything that's left on the land, such as shrubs, stumps, and
      peat soil, which can smolder for three to four months before it's
      finally extinguished, says Michelle Desilets, director of the Borneo
      Orangutan Survival Foundation, UK. Tree-felling combined with the
      burning creates a haze above the forest and releases tons of carbon
      dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to the same global warming
      that biofuels are supposed to reduce.

      Since Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests are some of the most
      diverse ecosystems on the planet, clearing these areas poses serious
      threat to countless species of plants and animals. Right now palm oil
      is mostly used in food products. But if the demand for palm oil-based
      biodiesel increases, the oil palm business will certainly expand,
      creating more deforestation and species destruction.

      But despite the huge environmental impact palm oil-based biodiesel
      has, businesses interested in bottom-line dollars see a market for it.
      "Palm oil is the cheapest source for biofuel, and, as we know, in the
      marketplace the cheapest wins," said Shannon Coughlin, program
      director for Rainforest Action Network, in an e-mail.

      Leland Tong, an advisor to the National Biodiesel Board, says though
      palm oil is not grown domestically and will not lessen dependence on
      foreign fuel sources, it does offer some perks as far as biofuels go.
      It has a higher freezing point than regular fuel alone; it's
      renewable; and it's similar in efficiency to other biofuel sources
      such as soybean oil.

      Rainforest advocates suggest some more environmentally responsible
      alternatives to making biodiesel from palm oil. Desilets asserts that
      if there must be palm oil plantations, then they should be planted on
      already degraded land (such as rainforest that has been logged, but
      not cleared) to protect other high-conservation areas. Keating insists
      that the only solution is to lessen our dependence on fuel. And
      Coughlin suggests making ethanol from agricultural waste and
      switchgrass so that no land has to be cleared. But all agree that the
      current method of producing palm oil-based biodiesel is not the answer
      to our energy needs.

      "We know that an increased market for palm oil imports will accelerate
      rather than stop climate change," said Coughlin in an e-mail. "It's
      crazy. We need to break the addiction rather than keep feeding it."

      BACK
      Forests begin to revive as global devastation of trees is reversed
      Source: The Times – November 15, 2006
      By Lewis Smith and Tom Whipple

      Study offers hope for endangered species and climate change

      FORESTS are increasing in countries across the world after centuries
      of being destroyed for their wood and to make way for people,
      according to research.
      By measuring the density of trees rather than simply the area on which
      they grow, scientists have calculated that forests are increasing in
      almost half of the world's 50 most wooded nations.

      Forests are still diminishing in some countries, such as Brazil and
      Indonesia. In others, such as China, they are now expanding, although
      world stocks are still about 2.5 per cent lower now than in 1990.

      Stocks of trees increased most rapidly in Spain and Ukraine, and were
      lost most quickly in Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines between
      1990 and last year. The area covered by trees increased most quickly
      in Vietnam, Spain and China, and reduced most quickly in Nigeria and
      the Philippines, according to the study.

      The greatest total gain of the number of trees and the area of forest
      was made in China and the US. Indonesia and Brazil lost the most,
      while in India forest coverage is now stable.

      The researchers, whose study is published in the journal Proceedings
      of the National Academy of Sciences, said the findings offered hope
      that forestry loss worldwide would be reversed within a few years.

      "An increasing number of countries and regions are from deforestation,
      raising hopes for a turning point for the world as a whole," they said.
      "Amid widespread concerns about deforestation, growing stock has in
      fact expanded over the past 15 years in 22 of the world's 50 countries
      with the most forest. An increasing number of countries show gains."
      The study was carried out by six academics and non-governmental
      forestry experts, including Alexander Mather, of the University of
      Aberdeen.

      The improvements in tree density are thought by the team to be the
      result of better forest management and advances in agriculture<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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