RPUs Catch Forest Encroachers at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park

Reported by Heri Pasiman, Summarized by Hanif Muhammad

Recent encroachment suspects turned over to the police by an RPU member.

Recent encroachment suspects turned over to the police by an RPU member.

An integral part of our work in Sumatra is gatehring intelligence to assist detection and prevention of illegal activity in the park. The Intelligence and Law Enforcement Unit (ILEU) supports the Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) collect critical information from local communities about illegal activity in the area of the National Park. A recent tip received by the the ILEU, led the RPU team to discover encroachment activity in the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) area.

When RPU team entered the area and saw an individual was trying to clear a wide swatch of forest. The RPUs stopped and caught the encroacher, who disclosed that two of his colleagues were resting at their hut inside the park. They were soon in custody – but not before they had destroyed 2.5 acres of forest.

Tools used by encroachers to clear the forest.

Tools used by encroachers to clear the forest.

To reduce or even remove illegal activities altogether in Indonesia, especially in Sumatra, the RPUs and the ILEU must be constantly vigilant:

  • Conducting intelligence operations to help arrest perpetrators of poaching and illegal wildlife trade,
  • Apprehending suspects in forestry and hunting crimes, especially when laws protecting wildlife trade laws are broken. Suspects are processed and submitted to the court and from there, the offender will go to trial and subject to penalties in accordance with Indonesian law.

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