Jambi, Sumatra, INDONESIA: A day after International Tiger Day and the launch of the Save The Tiger Fund’s Campaign Against Tiger Trafficking (CATT) - the Indonesian Government, with support from local and international NGO’s, has initiated an intensive two-week training workshop focused on developing in-country capacity to halt poaching and illegal trade of the country’s last 500 wild Sumatran tigers.
Implemented by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry (BKSDA Jambi) and the Sumatran Tiger Program (STP), with funding from Save The Tiger Fund, the European Union, the Sumatran Tiger Trust (UK) and the Tiger Foundation (Canada), the classroom and field-based workshop represents a strong commitment by the provincial Government of Jambi, and reinforces the recently established Provincial Decree No. 237, signed by the Governor on 7th June 2005, entitled “Formation of a Cross-Sectoral Response Team Against Poaching and Illegal Trade in Sumatran Tigers and their Products within Jambi Province”.
Jambi, situated in central Sumatra, represents the heartland of the Sumatran tiger’s remaining range – covering the core Tiger Conservation Units of Bukit Tigapuluh and Kerinci Seblat National Parks. While a strong field protection presence (much of it supported by Save The Tiger Fund) has resulted in reduced poaching within these strictly protected areas, tigers in isolated pockets of production forest, and on the fringes of oil-palm plantations, have been poached relentlessly during the last three years. Constraints to more effective intervention have been identified as sub-optimal coordination and understanding between agencies, further hindered by under-prioritization of wildlife crime issues relative to other criminal matters.
The workshop will focusing on bridging the gap between protection teams in the field, with the police, judiciary and law enforcement agencies across Jambi province. The estimated 150 attendees of this Tiger and Wildlife Crime Capacity Building Workshop, officially opened by the Governor of Jambi, will spend the first week involved in class-based lectures and seminars, widening the understanding between the various governmental components of the overall law enforcement process, and seeking to define a clear and supporting role for NGOs. The second week of training will see the multi-disciplinary participants off into the field, many for the first time, where recent cases of tiger poaching and wildlife crime will be reviewed and scrutinized.
The varied venues for the field components of training are a direct result of commendable collaboration between Government agencies and the STP (Sumatran Tiger Trust/Tiger Foundation in Bukit Tigapuluh NP), Frankfurt Zoological Society, Flora and Fauna International (Kerinci Seblat NP) and Zoological Society of London (Asiatic Persada oil palm concession) and the European Union’s Illegal Logging Response Centre program.
The workshop will round-up on the 7th October, with closing statements from Indonesia’s national hero General Djaja Suparman (ret., currently Head of the State Hunting Association) and the Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ir. Koes Saparjadi. This opportunity will also be used to launch the next stage of wildlife crime development in Jambi, with the signing of a technical cooperation agreement between the Provincial Police Chief, Department of Forestry and the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program.
This new phase of activities, initiated as a pilot-project but scheduled for full operations in 2006, will see the development of a wildlife crime and human-tiger conflict monitoring network across every village community in Jambi which exists in close proximity to tiger habitat. State employed Community Police will represent the front-line, with technical advice and support from STP, in this unprecedented cooperation between the Government and non-governmental sectors.
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