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An All-Women Working Group for Orangutan Protection  Established for the First Time Ever in Aceh (December 19, 2016)
Posted on 15:35 December 20th, 2016

A community based working group of Acehnese Women for Orangutan Protection (AWOP) was established for the first time ever in Aceh. The establishment of this working group, whose members were all women, was one of the results of a one day workshop in Blangpidie, Aceh Barat Daya district of Aceh province in Sumatra on Monday (19 December 2016).

The theme of this workshop was “Prevent Orangutan Capture in Aceh West coast,” with 3 resource people. The first resource person was the head of forestry and estate crop department of Aceh Barat Daya, Muhammad Amin, whose topic was, “The Urgency of Protecting Orangutan for Balance of Nature.” The second resource person was Epi Supenda from the Aceh Wildlife Authority (BKSDA) with the theme, “Prevention of human-orangutan conflicts.” And the third speaker was a lecturer of the state-owned Teuku Umar University,  Zuhriat who talked about “The Importance of Forest  to Ensure Water Supply for Agricuture."

 The presentations from the three resource persons were followed by a question and answer session and discussion group. From the discussion it was decided, among other things, to establish an all women working group for orangutan protection who would patrol forest edges in the west coast of Aceh to prevent orangutan capture. The working group members consist of all women participants of the workshop. They are; 1)Nur Mawar, 2)Salmiati, 3)Arfiana, 4)Rusmalaili, 5)Novita Dewi, 6)Erna, 7)Suryani, 8)Lia Mirda Yani, 9)Yusmira, 10)Mardiana, 11)Safriani, 12)Ranti, 13) Yusma, dan 14)Yuli. 31 participants attended the workshop consisted of 14 females, and 17 males.

 Another conclusion of the workshop was that the women’s group will carry out regular monitoring along the forest edges of Leuser Ecosystem in the Aceh west coast: including in the districts of Nagan Raya; Aceh Barat Daya; Aceh Selatan; Aceh Singkil; Kota Subulussalam;  Aceh Barat.

 Although the AWOP is a volunteer group, the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group will support their operation in patrolling activities.

 “This is a community based volunteer group, but Scorpion Foundation would support them in their activities,” Sayed Nazran Ahmad , Scorpion representative in Aceh, stated.

 “We love to have the orangutans remain in the forest, therefore, we will strive to prevent orangutan capture. We prefer to prevent orangutan from going out of the forest, because handling the orangutan after one or two years in captivity would be much more difficult and costly, as it will take much of conservation fund which is limited everywhere,” Nazran added.

 The Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group works to prevent wildlife crimes, including crimes against orangutans, while the Scorpion gets support from some international organisations including Orangutan Foundation (U.K.), The Orangutan Project/TOP (Australia), and Global Greengrant Fund (USA).

Photographs of the workshop in Blangpidie, Aceh Barat Daya.

(Photo: Scorpion)

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