Jakarta, November 5th, 2018. As a signatory country that adopts Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and as commemoration of National Fauna and Flora Day (known locally as Hari Cinta Puspa Satwa Nasional/HCPSN), today WWF-Indonesia and partners celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora along with its significant benefits for our lives. The multi-stakeholders working in biodiversity conservation and sustainability in Indonesia, range from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia’s Police Force, Indonesia’s National Army, Attorney General's Office, Corruption Eradication Commission, Financial Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center, House of Representatives, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, art workers, and athletes launched a public campaign entitled "Indonesia Says No to Illegal Wildlife Trade" in Jakarta.
This campaign has one ultimate goal of reducing the level of wildlife trade by increasing public participation in reporting suspected illegal wildlife trade to the Indonesian Police Criminal Investigation Agency (BARESKRIM POLRI) online through the E-Reporting of Protected Animal applications on mobile phones or computers tablet.
"I urge the public to help report wildlife-related crime through online application dubbed as e-Reporting of Protected Animals if they are aware of any illegal trade that occurs both online and offline," said General Tito Karnavian, Head of the Indonesian Police Force, in a statement of support for this campaign. "I instruct the entire Police Force of the Republic of Indonesia to strictly prevent and enforce the law against anyone who commits crimes and trafficking of protected wildlife," said Tito again.
Asia is the center of trade for a variety of globally protected wildlife as a source, transit point and market destination for selling endangered and high-value wildlife. This multi-million-dollar business threatens the survival of key, flagship species such as tigers, elephants, rhinos, orangutans, sharks, manta rays, sea turtles and other animals that have important functions for the balance of the ecosystem.
Indonesia, as one of the countries in Asia that owns a bountiful natural resources and biodiversity, makes this country a source and destination for wildlife trade. Based on a data by WWF-Indonesia, 85% of the animals traded coming from nature and resulted from illegal hunting.
According to the International Enforcement Agency (IEA), the value of global trade in wildlife is equivalent to the value of human trafficking, narcotics and illegal weapons. The trade in protected animals has a complicated or covert transaction path and is more open through e-commerce, marketplace and social media channels.
The WWF Living Planet Report 2018, launched globally on October 30, revealed that at least 60 percent of vertebrate animals have disappeared in less than 50 years. The main threats to the species identified in the report are directly related to human activities, one of which is wildlife trade due to high market demands for several species.
The loss of key animals disturbs the balance of the ecosystem which in turn disrupts the food chain in nature. For example, declining tiger populations make the wild boar population increase which then becomes a pest for farmers around the forest. This also happens in the sea, the decline of shark populations makes the population of carnivorous fish beneath it increases which affects the algae-eating herbivorous fish run out, resulting in the sea becomes a dead zone due to the explosion of the algae population. Such conditions will be detrimental to the fisheries sector because no fish can live and breed due to low oxygen levels. The connection is very clear between the loss of key wildlife populations and this poses the threat to our food sustainability.
"Indonesia is blessed by the wealth of natural resources and biodiversity including the high number of endemic species in the world. But poaching and trafficking of wildlife makes our forests even more quiet. Ironically, Indonesia is a source and also a market for illegal wildlife chain of custody in Asia. Loss of these animals have an impact on the sustainability of various key species in nature. An unbalanced food chain then causes people's welfare to decline," said Rizal Malik, CEO of WWF-Indonesia.
Collaboration from various parties is needed to take decisive steps to stop illegal wildlife trade -- and the public can take part in this joint effort. The public is expected to actively report the crime and illegal wildlife trade to the authorities directly or through the E-Reporting of Protected Animals online application, managed by the National Police Criminal Investigation Agency BARESKRIM. In addition, to ensure that law enforcement can provide a deterrent effect for violators of protected wildlife crime, public support can also be conveyed through a petition to revise Law No. 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Resources and their Ecosystems at change.org/revisiuukonservasi.
For more information, please contact:
Elis Nurhayati | Director of Communications, WWF-Indonesia | [email protected] | 0811-1310-1995
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