Guidelines for Better Management Practices on Avoidance, Mitigation and Management of Human-Orangutan Conflict in and around Oil Palm Plantations
It is recognized that there are environmental pressures on oil palm expansion to areas having high conservation values, including orangutan habitat, causing a significant decline in orangutan populations, particularly as palm oil can only be cultivated in tropical countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
It has been demonstrated that oil palm plantations can only support 0 to 20% of the mammals, reptiles and birds that the land supported prior to conversion. Where natural ecosystems have been converted to other land uses, conflicts arise between humans and wildlife, resulting in wildlife being killed, and poached for trade. This includes orangutans, the only great ape found in Asia. Today, orangutans are threatened by extinction in the wild.
Orangutans and many other species are being captured, and often end up injured, starving, or dead. Unplanned forest conversion is exacerbating this situation, completely disregarding the importance of biodiversity as genetic resource for human welfare.
A key issue that needs to be addressed is preventing the increase of conflicts between orangutans and humans. To this end, several conservation organizations and academic institutions have formed a communication forum to develop orangutan rescue guidelines for use by oil palm companies.
These technical guidelines were compiled as guiding principles for Better Management Practices (BMP) of human-orangutan conflict management, including the protection of HCVF (High Conservation Value Forests) areas within oil palm plantations. This document aims to help industrial stakeholders identify the right steps to adopt BMP, which is of clear benefit for both conservation and industrial activities.