Ibu Yuliana Wetuq, coordinator of the Petquk Mehuey forest guardian group in East Kalimantan, discusses the group’s decade-long commitment to preserving forests and biodiversity.

In Bandarlampung, Lampung, Ibu Yuliana Wetuq, alongside nine dedicated colleagues, celebrates over a decade of tireless efforts in safeguarding local forests since 2013. The Petquk Mehuey group, born from a deep-rooted commitment to environmental conservation, aims to uphold the ecological balance of Indonesia’s Kalimantan Island.

Spanning approximately 38 thousand hectares across East Kutai and Berau districts, Petquk Mehuey joins forces with traditional institutions and rural administrations to ensure the longevity of Kalimantan’s lush forests, which play a crucial role in global oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

Deploying three to four guardians on rotating shifts lasting four to five days, Petquk Mehuey vigilantly monitors forest areas to thwart illegal logging and hunting activities. Their dedication extends to documenting vital forest data and encounters with diverse wildlife, including orangutans, clouded leopards, and hornbills.

Guardians like Wetuq patrol both on foot and by motorbike, navigating through terrains inaccessible by vehicles to protect the forest’s rich biodiversity. They enforce regulations requiring permits for resource gathering, ensuring sustainable use of forest resources for local communities.

With an eye toward the future, Petquk Mehuey anticipates benefiting from forest carbon funds, recognizing the intrinsic value of their voluntary conservation efforts. The East Kalimantan provincial government’s allocation of funds from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Carbon Fund underscores the vital role of grassroots conservation initiatives.

As guardians eagerly await the disbursement of funds, their unwavering dedication to forest preservation remains unchanged. Their selfless service not only safeguards vital ecosystems but also sets a precedent for sustainable environmental stewardship in East Kalimantan and beyond.

Source: Antara News