Central Sulawesi’s forests damaged by illegal logging, mining: ranger

Internal Affairs

Illegal logging, mining, and encroachment have caused damage to Central Sulawesi’s forests, according to Acting Head of the Lore Lindu National Park (BTNLL) Hasmuni Hasman.

“The damages have occurred both within the Lore Lindu National Park area and outside the national park,” he remarked here on Monday.

A total of 264,874 hectares of Central Sulawesi’s forest area were in a critical condition due to deforestation, he noted while quoting data available in the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry’s Decree No 306 of 2018 on National Critical Land Mapping.

The 2019-2020 data on deforestation in Central Sulawesi showed that the deforested area had decreased to 44,523.9 hectares.

To help reduce the deforestation coverage further, Hasman called for contribution and participation of various stakeholders to stop illegal logging and mining activities as well as human encroachment.

The UNESCO in 1977 designated the Lore Lindu National Park as a world Biosphere Reserve to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, he remarked while adding that the preservation of the national park was therefore crucial.

Hasman noted that his office had helped local people living around the national park to develop micro-, small-. and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), so that they do not merely rely on the forest products to earn a living.

The Lore Lindu National Park is one of Sulawesi’s important natural reservation sites that is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna in this island.

The park, with its beautiful scenery, holds a great number of endemic flora and fauna and sits at the Wallacea line, which is a shifting zone between Asia and Australia.

The park is home to at least five species of squirrels and 31 of its 38 rat species are endemic. There are at least 55 species of bats and 267 birds, including maleo birds and red-knobbed hornbills. The largest red-knobbed hornbill, locally known as “allo,” inhabits this park.

Thousands of weird and wonderful insect species can be seen around the park and several of them are attractive species, such as butterflies, which can be seen, as they fly along the water course or drink from puddles and mudbanks.

Source: Antara News