Javan Rhino Conservation Partnership Continues for the 2nd Year

Aida Greenbury, Managing Director, Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), and Dr. Ir. Moh. Haryono, M.Si, Head of Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) and Chairman of Javan rhino Conservation Working Group (CWG), sign an agreement to extend the Javan rhino conservation partnership. (Photo: Business Wire)

The partnership is in support of the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia’s target to increase the population of Javan rhino in TNUK. This is in accordance with the Indonesian Rhino Conservation Action Plan and Strategy 2007 – 2017.

In the coming year, the Javan Rhino Conservation Working Group (CWG) will expand the Javan rhino habitat revitalization initiatives and continue Javan rhino population monitoring. The CWG will fund a field team that will monitor the rhino population via sixty video cameras already installed in the national park.

Organic farming training will be provided in the second year to three other local villages. This project has shown good potential, as a sampling study in several areas has shown that with proper management, it is possible to yield as much as the national target, which is 6.5 tonnes per hectare. Until now, rice harvesting in the area has never exceeded 2 tonnes per hectare. Improving yields and providing viable income for the local community is a major factor in reducing encroachment into the national park, including the area of Javan rhino habitats.

Dr. Ir. Moh. Haryono, M.Si, said:

“This commitment provides optimism and encouragement for the CWG in supporting TNUK to conserve the Javan rhino. In the second period and beyond, we will continue to work together to increase the Javan rhino population in TNUK and to ensure that this critically endangered species can continue to survive and hopefully prosper in the long term.”

Private-public partnerships are encouraged by the Government of Indonesia (GoI) to conserve endangered species such as the Javan rhino. GoI recently called for more participation from the private sector towards such conservation efforts. APP’s contribution is largely funded through the Home for Rhino campaign in Japan, where part of the proceeds from APP photocopy paper sales are donated to support the CWG’s work in rhino conservation.

Aida Greenbury said:

“The Home for Rhino campaign has helped to generate global awareness on the need and importance to conserve this critically endangered rhino species. We received positive feedback from our stakeholders, especially our customers in Japan, who are very pleased that their purchase can contribute to this conservation effort.”

“Positive impact has been shown in the first year partnership through education and community empowerment, and we will not stop with this achievement. We believe in having a lasting partnership with the government to achieve our shared goals in conserving this precious species,” she added.

The Javan rhino is one of the world’s critically endangered species. The number of remaining Javan rhinos continued to decline in the latter 1900’s due to illegal poaching for the valuable and rare single horn of the unique animal, as well as forest encroachment that resulted in habitat degradation.

In March 2011 images from a hidden video trap were published showing an adult and juvenile Javan rhino within the park, indicating recent mating and breeding. Within the last 10 years, 14 Javan rhino births have been documented, including evidence of a female birth that would help promote continued expansion of the population.