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International Animal Rescue ‘Pongo Rangers’ call for stricter air rifle legislation to mark International Day of Forests

Members of our Indonesian environmental education community the ‘Pongo Rangers’ are petitioning to tighten the use of air rifles in response to a number of recent cases of wildlife crime.

This petition is one of many events hosted by the Pongo Rangers, in association with International Animal Rescue Indonesia and the City Mall in Ketapang. The events were held on 27th March 2018 to mark International Day of Forests.

Event organiser, Shafa Fakhir, stated that the petition was organised as a result of orangutan shootings that have been reported over the recent months. "This petition was made for the many wild animals who are victims of air rifle crimes. We do not want orangutans to be killed in Kalimantan" said a high school student of SMA 1 Ketapang.

This petition is intended for the Ketapang Police Chief, urging them to restrict the use of air rifles.  Current legislation states that "Air rifles should only be used for sport activities, target shooting and in the location of existing permits. Ownership of air rifles must have permission from the local Police.”

The petition will be brought to the Ketapang Police Station with the hopes that the Chief of Police will agree to take further action.

Chairman of IAR Indonesia, Tantyo Bangun is inspired by the attitude of the young people in Ketapang who are clearly very concerned for the environment and said "Today we see two very straightforward attitudes conveyed by millennial generations in Ketapang and Kalimantan Batat in general. Firstly, they expressed an attitude of rejecting a culture of violence that was reflected in the petition for enforcement of the rules of the use of air rifles. Second, they support nature conservation by voicing the importance of protecting wildlife for a prosperous and sustainable Indonesia".

Head of BKSDA West Kalimantan, Sadtata Noor was touched by this initiative and expressed appreciation and admiration for the young people of Ketapang.

In addition to this petition, the Pongo Rangers also held a colouring completion for elementary school students and a drawing completion for high school students. There was also a theatrical performance, live music and a documentary screening.

This series of activities aimed to inform the community about the importance of the forest and to emphasize the role of communities in stopping illegal activities that endanger the lives of protected wildlife.