Field Report from Borneo Nature Foundation

Fire-Fighting Tricycles Donation Presented to Local Fire Teams

Borneo Nature Foundation, June 2018

Every year, severe forest fire impacts Borneo, leading to forest loss that poses severe threats to orangutan populations, and causing public health problems from respiratory infections associated with the smoke haze. Together with people in the nearby villages, we at Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) work to combat fires to reduce that risk and protect orangutan populations.

However, lack of appropriate fire-fighting transport equipment has led to difficulties in teams moving the necessary kit to fire locations, therefore compromising their ability to fight fires.

With support from the Orangutan Conservancy, funded through donations by Yachak and Craig’s List, BNF was able to equip the local Kereng Bangkirai (consisting of 29 members) and Sabaru (26 members) community fire-fighting teams (hereafter referred to as MPA) with motor tricycles. This will help ensure these teams’ quick, effective and safe response to fire incidents, by enabling them to transport crucial fire-fighting equipment when combatting the fires.

The official handover ceremony took place on Friday 18thMay 2018 at the Sabangau District Office. At this ceremony, additional equipment and drones purchased with donations from other sources were also presented to communities and the team.

The event was attended by fire-fighting communities and MPA teams, BNF representatives, the Head of CIMTROP from the University of Palangka Raya, and the other 16 stakeholders from local governments, including the Chief of Sabangau District, Head of Sebangau National Park and many more. Bernat Ripoll Capilla, Field Director of BNF, expressed his great enthusiasm to take part in the equipment handover.

“BNF acts as the facilitator of this programme, we’re happy to work together with communities and we expect that they can use this equipment positively to protect their land and environment”.

Daryatmo KS, a representative from Sabangau District Office, was pleased to open the hand-over event. He perceived the handover as the big step from Borneo Nature Foundation to support local communities in Borneo.

“We’re glad for the conservation team from BNF that has dedicated their efforts to help local communities in Borneo. Our future expectation is that there must be various future collaborations between BNF, local governments, and local communities to protect the environment” said Daryatmo.

The event ended with the signing of the handover agreement by the Field Director of BNF with the representatives from the two MPAs for fire-fighting equipment and Head of CIMTROP.

Yunsiska Ermiasi, BNF Conservation Manager of BNF, added that the programme should not stop at the handover event.

“The programme should not end at this event. It should be sustainable. Therefore, we’ll keep working together and finding ways to collaborate in the future for the sake of improving the environment” said Siska.

We thank Orangutan Conservancy, Yachak and all of our donors for supporting us to facilitate local community fire-fighting efforts to protect wild orangutan habitat in Central Borneo.

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