Orangutan Foundation and Forest Carbon use Remote Sensing to Monitor Critical Orangutan Habitat

Orangutan Foundation have partnered with Forest Carbon to assess critical Orangutan habitat in Lamandau and Belantikan Hulu river watersheds, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.
July 16, 2012 - PRLog -- Orangutan Foundation (http://www.orangutan.org.uk/) have partnered with Forest Carbon (http://www.forest-carbon.org/) to assess orangutan habitat in Central Kalimantan. To support this effort, the French based Planet Action Foundation (http://www.planet-action.org/) has provided high-resolution satellite imagery as well as image and spatial analysis software that will allow the group to monitor forest cover in the Lamandau and Belantikan Hulu river watersheds in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia on the island of Borneo.

Orangutan Foundation (OF) is working to survey orangutan populations and assess habitat quality within logging concessions and protected areas. Forest Carbon conducted a week-long training course in the use of ArcGIS software, image analysis methods, rapid forest assessment and biomass estimation techniques. The course was attended by OF staff, its Indonesian NGO partner Yayorin, and officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s local Agency for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA).

The Lamandau-Belantikan Hulu landscape in Central Kalimantan is home to an estimated 6,000 orangutans comprising one of the largest remaining wild populations in the world. Image and spatial analysis will be undertaken to determine habitat conditions, threats to the forest and orangutans, and prioritize conservation areas. The results of the imagery analysis will allow a more accurate assessment of both orangutan populations and forest conditions in the area.

Ashley Leiman OBE, Director of OF, says “About 70% of the local orangutan population in the Belantikan area are found on active logging concessions. This imagery will allow us to see the impacts of logging on orangutan habitat as well as to determine forest regeneration rates.”

Forest Carbon has collaborated with OF since 2008 on aerial surveys and habitat assessments of the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. The work also builds on Forest Carbon’s experience working on a number of REDD+ and sustainable forestry projects in Kalimantan.

Scott Stanley, Managing Director at Forest Carbon, believes that conservation efforts and management efforts outside of protected areas will be necessary to ensure long-term orangutan survival. “With so many orangutans living in unprotected areas, it is necessary to identify which concessions they may occur on and which areas harbor the greatest chance for long term population viability.”

About Orangutan Foundation UK
The Orangutan Foundation (http://www.orangutan.org.uk/) is one of the world's foremost orangutan conservation organizations. It works to save Asia's endangered great ape by supporting efforts to protect their tropical forest habitat, working together with local communities, NGO’s and government authorities.

The approach of the Orangutan Foundation goes beyond that of purely protecting the orangutan. Critically it also recognizes that orangutan habitat is unique in its richness of biodiversity and crucial for local communities, who are as dependent on the forest as is the orangutan.

Conservation is more than protecting a species, it is about saving nature which includes us, 'the fifth ape'. The efforts of all of us to prevent global warming will be seen as a defining moment in history, for humanity's sake and for the health of the whole planet. Tropical forests can play a significant role in guarding against climate change.

About Forest Carbon
Forest Carbon (http://www.forest-carbon.org/) is an environmental consulting and technology company based in Indonesia. It has advised numerous international environmental NGO’s on REDD+, ecosystem mapping, and sustainable forest management in Southeast Asia and Africa. It also works with timber companies on the implementation of sustainable forest management practices.
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Tags:Conservation, Orangutan, Indonesia, Redd, Gis
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