Together with our first FNPF “Star Volunteer”, we would like to also feature FNPF field staff – Our “Forest Friends”, who work tirelessly to protect some of the world’s most endangered species, like the threatened Orangutans of Kalimantan, the Bali starling and their unique habitats in this planet’s biodiversity hotspots of Southeast Asia.
As a small Indonesian grassroots NGO, their important roles continue to help us achieve all that we have done to date – including: saving one of the world’s rarest birds and Bali’s emblem bird, the Bali starling, from extinction in the wild; and the reforestation of more than 415 hectares (that’s equal to about 775 football fields) of national park and wildlife reserve in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.
CHANGING LIVES – from logger to forest guardian
Hadran (56), a former illegal-logger turned friend of the forest – is now an FNPF Forester in and around Tanjung Puting National Park, in Central Kalimantan – vital habitat in the world’s tropical ecosystem. For a decade, Hadran earned a living clearing trees before he finally found his “eureka moment” and become a forester. Hadran is passionate about his work with FNPF, joining the Kalimantan team about 12 years ago and explains his decision to work with FNPF – “it is the right place to pay back”.
“I realized that moment in 2003, after I stopped illegal logging in 2000. I had known Bayu Wirayudha since 1997 and he is one of my realizations – where I realized that the forest should be conserved properly,” he says.
Most fascinating experience?
“Planting the trees”
“Because, before I was an illegal logger. A Criminal. I wanted to turn this harm into good. Until now, we have successfully reforested more than 415 hectares and keep planting”.
“I don’t have any challenge by working at FNPF but on the ground we have some.
Dry season is the hardest time for us because we have to focus on fire patrolling. We can’t continue planting the trees and because the staff is limited – and we have to spread out two people, each location”.
Hadran explains that conditions are difficult when battling dangerous wildfire, in harsh terrain, with basic equipment and often – with no sleep.
“At the same time, we also do wildlife patrolling”.
The most memorable experience?
“The experience that I will not forget, to my death, is when I did patrolling and conservation education with children at Beguruh, in 2008. We saved a wild bear – his legs were tangled in a trap – and we put it in the cage. When I was going to feed him, my hand was badly scratched by his nails, damaging my nerves. So, I cannot forget that,” Hadran tells.
Hope & dreams?
“Our team is growing, and aims to be more solid. Although we are small team compared to other NGO’s, but the most important thing for us is to maintain this solid team work”.
People working for NGOs usually are passionate about what they are trying to achieve, they want to show the results of their beliefs. Hadran shining example of a passionate conservation – a true “Forest Friend”.
In Kalimantan (Borneo), we currently run projects in and around Tanjung Puting National Park – the largest protected area of tropical heath and peat swamp forest in South East Asia – and Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. We have dedicated our efforts to secure a better future for the orangutans through integrated activities including reforestation to rebuild their habitat, relocation, wildlife patrolling, forest fire patrolling, and community education.