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Join Paul in saving orangutans

Paul Daley with a tree kangaroo in Northern Queensland.
Paul Daley with a tree kangaroo in Northern Queensland. Contributed

ORANGUTAN rescue and stopping illegal deforestation has again drawn Paul Daley to camp in a Borneo forest, this time for 100 days.

He and fellow members of DeforestACTION will set up a deforestation monitoring system, plant trees and rescue orangutans.

Mr Daley, 25, has a Certificate 4 in Conservation and Land Management and said the monitoring system will enable the public to become actively involved in stopping illegal deforestation on the island.

"People can log on to their computers live and monitor a hectare of forest each," he explained.

"When they see some disappear they can notify us and we'll notify police and authorities in the area."

Mr Daley grew up wandering forests around Kyogle and said deforestation was "one of the biggest environmental challenges on the planet".

While he was optimistic about the outcomes of the trip, he admitted there would be dangers.

"They do have gangs who use intimidation tactics towards local people but I don't think they'd be stupid enough to do something to us because we've got police and government on our side and the cameras will be rolling," Mr Daley said.

Ex-Clunes film-maker Cathy Henkel will make a documentary.

Borneo's forests were used by gangs to illegally smuggle orangutans into Malaysia, he said.

"To tackle all of this illegal action, we need strong relationships with local police and government."

He was not worried because Dr Willie Smit, one of the project's organisers, had been co-operating with local authorities for several years.

Last year, Mr Daley and other DeforestACTION members travelled to Borneo on a reconnaissance mission and held an online seminar watched by about 30,000 people worldwide.

DeforestACTION will run a similar web seminar on March 28 and Mr Daley expected 100,000 viewers.

You can support Mr Daley's work at dfa.tigweb.org/hub/paul.

 

THE END GAME

  • Once known as the lungs of Asia, Borneo's forests are at the brink of an ecological disaster.
  • Almost 60% of protected national parkland has been illegally logged
  • The illegal timber is turned into plywood and exported to other parts of Asia. It is also used to build furniture for Japanese, European and US markets.
  • There are more than 420 bird and 220 mammal species in Kalimantan, half of which depend on the rainforests for survival.
  • If the current rate of destruction continues, the island of Kalimantan, which is the size of about 60% of NSW, will be stripped of its rainforests in the next three years.

Topics:  borneo, orangutans


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