LOVE DOES NOT MEANS POSSESSION! LET US REPORT IT!
By: Nur Arinta
Indonesia is a blessed country with very rich biodiversity, both flora and fauna. As one of the biodiversity hotspots, Indonesia is a home for 10 percent of flowering plants in the world, 12 percent of mammals, and 17 percent of reptiles, amphibians and birds from around the world. It makes our country got second rank as the mega-biodiversity country, after Brazil and Columbia. Unfortunately, all these species face the threat of poaching and illegal trading, and this is a major threat that can lead to extinction.
Responding to this huge threat, WWF-Indonesia launched a campaign to stop the illegal trade of protected wildlife, named "Indonesia Says No! to Illegal Wildlife Trade." The launch of the campaign which took place exactly on National Day of Flora and Fauna (11/5/2018) was held at the Usmar Ismail Film Center, Jakarta. This event was also celebrated by campaign supporters from various circles, including Indonesia's proud musicians like Tulus, Jamaica Cafe, OM PMR, Semenjana, Primata Band, Full Lights Out, Wolf of Beatbox; Pantomime Wanggi Hoed; Comedian Abdur Arsyad, Reinold, Yewen; and famous journalist Prita Laura.
Apart from that, this event also launched a public service announcement (PSA) campaign video invites all Indonesian people to stop the hunting and illegal trading of protected wildlife. There are 21 videos supported by various parties including law enforcers, policy makers, 2018 Asian Para Games athletes, and supporters from the artisans.
The existence of species that live within the Nusantara certainly has an important role as the wealth and pride of our nation. More than that, we need them as a guardian to balancing the ecosystem for the continuity of human life. Unfortunately, the importance of this species role in protecting our nature cannot makes them free from the threat of poaching and illegal trading.
In his introduction, CEO of WWF-Indonesia Rizal Malik said, "The WWF’s report from The Living Planet Report in 2018 stated that the global population of species continues to decline, especially the vertebrates or bony animals. The existence of vertebrates is one of the health indicators of our ecosystem, which has declined by an average of 60% over the past 40 years, and one of the main cause is the illegal wildlife trade.
It is undeniable that Indonesia is part of the trade center of global protected wildlife because it is the source, transit point, and market for selling endangered and high-value wildlife. This crime is a big threat to the wildlife population in nature and still happening until today. The illegal trade of protected wildlife is also believed to have contributed to the increase of the extinction process of animals, apart from other factors such as habitat loss and the spreading of diseases originating from animals (Zoonosis). According to the International Enforcement Agency (IEA), the value of global trade in wild animals competes with human trafficking, narcotics and illegal weapons.
Besides that, the community called "Animal lovers" is expanding. Novi Hardianto, WWF-Indonesia Wildlife Crime Unit Officer stated that the increasing number of the animal lovers community has a potency to contribute the continuation of protected wildlife trade. "This community of animal lovers usually has conversations in closed groups. Even though most of the community members do not keep protected animals, it still cannot stop the transactions of illegal wildlife trade" Novi explained.
Until now there are many people who wish to express their love for wildlife by owning it and taking care of it. But, it shoud not like that, every wild animal has ecological functions in nature. so if we love animals, we should contribute to ensuring the preservation of animals and their habitat. One way to express our love for animals is to stop wildlife trafficking, because this trade practice is a big threat causing a decline in wildlife populations, especially those protected in Indonesia and the world.
It is time to break this crime chain. Together with WWF-Indonesia, let us support to stop illegal wildlife trade and rescue the species in Indonesia. If you discover such criminal practice, report it through the application named “E-Pelaporan Satwa Dilindungi” available on Play Store. Say it with us, "I say no! To the illegal wildlife trade," and show concrete actions to eradicate this crime. Show your love for animals by protecting them in their habitat, because love is by no means possession.