Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) hosted a socialisation event to call for joint efforts to preserve the Rungan Landscape, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The event on the 5 March 2019 was attended by government officials, nonprofit organizations, university partners, journalists and community members.
The Rungan Landscape is situated between two giant rivers, Rungan and Kahayan, and stretches across three districts; Palangka Raya, Gunung Mas, and Pulang Pisau.
BNF surveyed the landscape and our preliminary results indicate that the Rungan forest contains a large population of orangutans (currently estimated at between 2,220 and 3,275 individuals) distributed across several habitat types. This is the largest unprotected population of Bornean orangutans in the world.
Rungan landscape photo by Markurius Sera | BNF
“The Rungan Landscape is over 150,000 hectares and is home to a large population of wild Bornean orangutans. However, its unprotected status means areas of the landscape are being opened up for conversion to plantations. This was the push for BNF to carry out surveys between 2017 and 2018 to identify areas of High Conservation Value” said Bernat Ripoll Capilla, BNF Field Director.
The landscape is two times the size of Singapore and is a unique mixture of habitat types; peat-swamp, heath forest, riverine forest and substantial patches of tall Ulin (ironwood) dominated forest.
Within the mosaic of habitats, there are hundreds of Borneo’s endemic species, such as flagship primates (orangutan and Bornean white-bearded gibbons), 5 wild cats, 118 endemic birds, 28 fish, 20 reptiles, and over 108 threatened tree species.
Camera trap photo of orangutan in Rungan landscape | BNF
“We are here to support the preservation of the last remaining rainforests of Borneo and we should work hand in hand with stakeholders to protect the home of endemic wildlife,” said Central Kalimantan Governor through its Regional Secretary, Fahrizal Fitri.
Fahrizal also added that areas of the Rungan Landscape are currently designated as production forest. Therefore, it requires solid coordination with the Regional Committee of Operation Unit (SOPD), particularly the Agency of Agriculture, as an attempt to protect the landscape from ongoing threats that will leave the natural environment damaged.
The theme of the socialization event was “Joint Efforts to Preserve the Rungan Landscape: Orangutan Conservation, Research and Capacity Building” and we presented our work carried out over the past three years in the Rungan Landscape.
BNF’s Rungan Programme aims to build a strong foundation for forest and biodiversity conservation through a collaborative, multi-partner and multi-stakeholder approach to identify best practices of co-management of the forest. These activities include biodiversity surveys, capacity building for local communities and outreach programmes (for example environmental education delivered in local schools).
BNF’s Rungan Programme is kindly supported by The Rainforest Trust, Civil Society in Development, Save the Orangutan and Arcus Foundation.
Rungan Programme socialisation activities
Photo by Danny | BNF | BPI