In Indonesia, Chanee and his team fight for the protection of gibbons endangered by deforestation.
With approximately 13 000 islands, this Indonesian territory is home to one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, second only to Brazil.
Primary tropical rainforest covers more than half of the archipelago. Here, the fauna and flora are incredibly rich and provide shelter for hundreds of endemic species: accounting for approximately 40 % of mammals and more than a quarter of all types of birds.
This place of abundant biodiversity, an integral part in the global patrimony of the Living, is in danger…
And who is to blame? You may have guessed it: It’s human beings with their insatiable desire for profit. They are tearing down this primary forest to exploit the land and resources of the archipelago, destroying the habitat as well as its feathered and furry inhabitants.
The outcome: many species are being driven to extinction. Among these species is the gibbon, the emblematic figure of the islands’ local fauna, and it is first in line.
Being whittled away
To meet the growing demand of palm oil in the global food-processing industry, the primary forest has seen its surface area whittled away: for every minute that goes by in Indonesia, more than 4 hectares of forest (that’s the equivalent of 6 football fields!) disappear. At this rate, the main forests on the island group will disappear in less than 15 years.
Even if oil palm plantations contribute to the degradation of biodiversity, it isn’t the only thing responsible for such carnage. The extraction of exotic woods, charcoal, gold and diamond mining, as well as illegal logging add to the problem.
Double punishment for the gibbons
Not only is the gibbons’ natural habitat being destroyed bit by bit and day after day by deforestation, many young gibbons are taken from their homes – often after their parents were killed- and placed in illegal captivity as pets.
Then due to inappropriate captivity conditions (tiny cages, stressful environments, lack of proper diet and mental stimulation) the young gibbons quickly become uncontrollable and aggressive: then are shot down point blank. To this day, more than 6,000 primates live in illegal captivity. What’s more is that this figure only represents the Borneo, Sumatra and Java islands.
Chanee and his team are shaking things up
It was in 1998 that Chanee founded the association Kalaweit – « Kalaweit » means « gibbon » in Dayak (a native language of Indonesia).
The ambitions of Chanee and his team:
– to save the gibbons in captivity and rehabilitate them into the wild
– to fight against deforestation, poaching and illegal logging
In 1999, the first agreement drafted for the islands Borneo and Sumatra was signed with the Indonesian minister of forests. Then in 2004, a new agreement extended the Kalaweit protection agreement across the entire country. Today, the association employs over 50 people in Indonesia.
Beyond the protection of these incredible primates, the preservation of the forest and its entire ecosystem is at stake: the association has created protected areas that are jointly managed by the government and the local people.
The locals are also victims of the situation, and the stakes are high for them as well: numerous villages have been completely wiped off the map for the sake of food-processing, mining, and lumber industries.
We love gibbons!
If you are an avid reader of HTS’Mag, you know that HTS BIO is already the happy owner of young zebu who is leading the good life in Madagascar. Nella (its name) lives with an adopted family and takes part in the family farm work.
And of course, if we are writing about this, it’s to say that, through the Kalaweit association, we are also proud sponsors of Jebelson, an adorable Indonesian gibbon. An attestation to our commitment to sustainable development.
« If one day human beings learn to love life, all life, the Kalaweit will no longer have to fight ». Chanee
You too can adopt a gibbon and actively participate in the fight against deforestation in Indonesia by clicking here!
7 REALLY GOOD REASONS TO SPONSOR A GIBBON
Reason N° 1: Gibbons are super cute.
Reason N° 2: You will make your inner child smile (because we all know kids love monkeys).
Reason N° 3: You will be better liked in your social circle.
Reason N° 4: You will (finally) have and excellent topic of conversation to spice up your dinner parties.
Reason N° 5: You will show to your gibbon that humans are not just a species consumed with caging animals and massacring their natural habitats, which will certainly make it cry with joy.
Reason N° 6: You will drive your loved ones crazy with jealously (especially if you already have a Madagascan zebu)
Reason N° 7: You will contribute to the preservation of over 50 jobs in Indonesia.
– Visit Chanee’s blog: http://chaneekalaweit.blogspot.fr/
– Listen Kalaweit Radio: http://radio.gjoy24.com/online/Kalaweit_Radio_991