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Rhino Resource Center: Rhino Forums > Rhino Conservation Organisations > International Rhino Foundation (IRF) > YABI Javan Rhino Programme

Posted by: Kees Jun 29 2010, 10:52 PM
APP Reaches A Landmark Agreement To Save The Javan Rhino

APP reaches a landmark agreement to save the Javan Rhino
Yayasan Badak Indonesia and APP share common commitment not to let animal extinction occur on their watch

Jakarta, 16 June 2010 – On 14 June 2010, Yayasan Badak Indonesia (the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia/YABI) and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) signed a pioneering agreement for a joint program to save the Javan rhino – one of the most critically endangered large mammals, worldwide. Over the past two decades, its population has stagnated, which signifies an ecological disorder. The rhino is also under threat because of other factors, such as illegal encroachment, disease outbreaks, unhealthy competition among species, natural disasters and climate change. Today, it is estimated that a mere 40-60 rhinos exist, globally. YABI and APP agree that now is the time to act, to conserve and to make a change on the ground without any delay.

The joint force will focus on the development of The Javan Rhino Sanctuary in Ujung Kulon National Park – a 76,000 hectares reserve in West Java, Indonesia. The development of the sanctuary is aimed not only to conserve the Javan rhino through intensive scientific studies, but also to widen its habitat, protecting it from domestic animals' interference – and ensuring population growth – which are the main goals of the collaboration program.

The Javan rhino is categorised as critically endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The protected mammals used to have a range that extended across South East Asia, but are now mostly found in the Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, Indonesia, where there are approximately 40 animals, and in the Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam where only a handful now exist.

The Javan Rhino Sanctuary Project was approved in April 2010 by the Director of Biodiversity Conservation, Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, and will support the Government of Indonesia in reaching its national rhino conservation goals: a three per cent increase on the annual growth rate of the rhino population and around one million hectares of secured rhino habitat by the year 2055.

There is a general understanding among the parties involved that a great deal of work is needed to preserve and protect the Javan rhino; therefore, APP has committed to support the required long-term programs.

Widodo Ramono, Executive Director of YABI, said: "The Javan Rhino is not known to many people and yet it is critically endangered. Just like the Javan tiger, they could disappear within the blink of an eye.

"There have only been a few initiatives carried out to protect this unique species. We are happy and excited to be working with APP, a national company, which is willing to support our conservation efforts through their CSR Program; particularly so, because, in the past, our collaborations were limited only to international NGOs."

He added: "Together, we are confident of achieving our goals to expand the Javan rhino's habitat, halt human negative intervention and set the founding stone for our future breeding sanctuary. APP is the first national company to support the preservation of the Javan rhino. Their commitment to the protection of the Rhino is an added inspiration for many people who have worked tirelessly in the forests of Ujung Kulon. Together with other stakeholders, we believe that the collaboration will make a significant impact on the Javan rhino population to escape extinction."

Aida Greenbury, Managing Director, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement of APP, said: "This effort is in line with our policy to continuously strive to identify, save and protect high conservation value natural forests and endangered animals. This extraordinary project, outside our operations, which we are very optimistic about, compliments our other conservation efforts within our and our supplier's operations in Sumatra and Kalimantan. These include the 172,000 hectares of UNESCO approved Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve in Riau province, Sumatra; the 10,000 hectares Taman Raja Nature Preserve in Jambi province, Sumatra; and the 110,000 hectares Senepis Sumatran Tiger Sanctuary in Riau province, Sumatra. The Kutai Orangutan Program in East Kalimantan is part of the last remaining strong holds of the Bornean orangutan."

Ms Greenbury added: "It would be remiss of us not to do our part to help protect this endangered species, the last remaining habitat of which is a mere five-hour drive away from our headquarters in Jakarta. Through this collaboration, we have a unique opportunity to help preserve this Indonesian iconic mammal for future generations and we intend to see this project through every stage of its development."

As one of the world's largest, vertically integrated pulp and paper companies, APP recognises that sustainable development is the foundation for long-term business success. Together with its stakeholders, APP is working with the Indonesian government to create jobs and protect Indonesia's forests, supporting the Indonesian government's goals for the forest sector: economic output, equitable distribution of benefits to improve people's welfare, watershed protection and conservation.

Posted by: rhinocap Aug 21 2010, 05:17 AM
Hi Kees,

I am glad that YABI has been able to forge this agreement. In Indonesia it is more or less of a novelty that industry is involved in wildlife conservation initiatives.

It may just have through good media exposure put other companies on track.

Incidentally, YABI and WWF also run an Adopt a Rhino scheme for Javan rhinos ....

Best wishes,