Palangka Raya, 25th March 2020 – In common with the rest of the world, the staff and partners of the Borneo Nature Foundation are having to deal with this most extraordinary global situation caused by the Covid19 virus pandemic. We would like to update you on the steps we are taking to safeguard both people and animals during this time. Our highest priority is the well-being of our staff, their families and the communities we work with, and the wildlife we study and work hard to protect.
Starting this week we are implementing home-working procedures for all of our office staff in Indonesia, bringing them in line with similar protocols for the BNF International team in Europe. Activities which involve large groups have been suspended, including all of our environmental education programmes, both in-school and after-school; much of our community-development work; research expeditions; and training sessions for sustainable livelihoods and fire-fighting teams. All upcoming visits by researchers, students, schools and university field courses to our field sites have been cancelled or postponed. We are continuing to monitor the situation and instructions from the local and national government about minimising contact and reducing the spread of the virus in Kalimantan.
Our field monitoring research in Sebangau and Rungan is continuing at the present time, but we have suspended direct follows of orangutans, gibbons and red langurs to avoid any close contact and unnecessary risk to the primates we have studied for many years. We are working remotely to ensure our efforts to protect the Rungan Landscape continue, maintaining communication with key stakeholders and continuing to advance habitat-protection plans. We are carrying on our vital conservation actions in the Sebangau Forest, including reforestation and canal-blocking, anti-logging and anti-hunting patrols, and maintaining the community firefighting teams in a state of readiness. Please be assured we will do whatever we can to keep these essential conservation actions going, whatever happens in the coming months.
By doing this we aim to minimise the risk of virus transmission to keep our staff, partners and community groups safe, whilst ensuring that our most essential work to protect the forest and biodiversity can continue. We are looking forward to resuming all of our programmes when this crisis is over, and to enable this we will continue to run campaigns and source funding support for the committed teams still working in the field, and ensure we are ready to restart all of our work as soon as we possibly can. Your support is extremely valuable right now and we are immensely grateful. Stay in touch via social media for updates from the BNF team.
Please stay safe and healthy at this time, wherever you are in the world, and thank you for your ongoing support at this difficult time.
|Juliarta Bramansa Ottay
|Ketua Yayasan Borneo Nature Indonesia
Chief Executive, BNF International