Supporters Blog

Visit from the CIMTROP Community Patrol Team

Getting everyone together – Patrol Team meeting at camp

©Thea Powell/OuTrop

The CIMTROP Community Patrol Team is made up of several local community members from the village of Kereng Bangkirai. Working under the management of CIMTROP, they act to protect the Natural Laboratory of Peat-swamp Forest and Kalampangan Research Stations in Sabangau. They patrol the Sabangau River to prevent illegal logging, hunting of protected animals and other illegal activities. OuTrop work to obtain funds and advise the team, with generous support from The Orangutan Project and Orangutan Appeal UK. 
The CIMTROP Patrol Team are dedicated to their work, which requires placing themselves in dangerous situations to help conserve the Sabangau Forest. As a result of the Patrol Team’s activities, illegal logging in the Natural Laboratory ended in 2004. In the dry season, they also patrol for fires. Fires can be utterly devastating in a peat-swamp forest. They release huge amounts of carbon and kill the trees due to the heat and burning away the peat substrate, leading to mass tree falls.As if this wasn’t already enough, they also build dams in the canals that were previously used for transporting illegally logged timber out of the forest. Areas of the forest are definitely remaining wetter because of these dams and cuttings of trees are planted in the canals to generate natural dams – the sprouts are already beginning to show. Finally they help ensure the safety of our research team at camp, so in many ways they are our guardian angels!The Patrol Team came to camp this week, and ensured all OuTrop staff and volunteers were there. This enabled an engaging, detailed exchange of information and introductions to staff from both sides. The Patrol Team often visit camp so it is important to know everyone’s face, so camp retains its continuous friendly atmosphere. Thea PCommunications Manager