Local Government and Authorities in North Maluku Committed to Protecting Parrots

Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) Indonesia held a "Coordination Forum for the protection of Parrots" in Ternate, Thursday (30/3/2017). The event was attended by around 40 representatives from concerning parties including the local government, police, military, traditional leaders, and youth figures.

"Parrots, as North Maluku's icon, are increasingly endangered due to the rampant poaching, smuggling, and trade. It takes coordination from all concerning parties to protect these endemic birds like the White Cockatoo and Chattering Lory. Therefore, PROFAUNA believe that it is very important to conduct this event," said Ekawaty Ka'aba, the coordinator of PROFAUNA North Maluku.

The forum opens with a launching of PROFAUNA's latest documentary entitled 'Burung Kita: Suara untuk Burung Maluku Utara'. The documentary features messages from local public figures, government officials, and religious leaders encouraging the people to stop capturing and keeping parrots as pets.

Four keynote speakers presented different topics on the occasion. Two speakers presented their materials during first panel presentation and discussion session. H. Samsu, S.E.,M.Si from North Maluku Forestry Service talked about the recent condition of North Maluku's forest and its threats. Lilian Komaling, S.Hut, the Head of North Maluku Nature Conservation Agency, shared information on law enforcement efforts related to parrots in North Maluku during 2016.

The second session was occupied by Ria Saryanthi from Burung Indonesia to talk about the status, distribution, and threats of Indonesian parrots. The last speaker, representing PROFAUNA, was Ekawaty Ka'aba who presented PROFAUNA's latest investigation result on the poaching and trade of the White Cockatoo and Chattering Lory in South Halmahera.

During both sessions, the panel discussion went productively. All participants enthusiastically took part on the discussion with responses, questions, and follow up ideas related to the presentations.

"Everybody who are here today highly appreciate PROFAUNA's move to facilitate this forum, because it is a very rare opportunity for us who work for different institutions to meet and discuss this issue," said Radwan,S.H., an official from Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park.

All participants were very active in all sessions, as this event is the first ever in North Maluku. Not only government officials law enforcers, and public figures, even journalists put serious interest in this event. Among the press was Gamalama TV, the largest local television channel in North Maluku. Gamalama TV's journalist also joined the discussion.

"It is true that most mass media in North Maluku have not considered this issue as an important matter. It only appears in press when a case arise," claimed Achmad Pical from Gamalama TV. He continued that Gamalama TV would be happy to host PROFAUNA or other institutions who would like to educate the people about parrot conservation through television.

The last session was a roundtable discussion led by Burung Indonesia, during which all participants were given time to deliver their opinions and ideas that can be implemented in the future.

"Coordination and synergy is vital, we have built a good one from now on," stated Hanis Aldian, representing the Navy.

"Aside from acting in each of our own institutions and strengthen the coordination, we must not forget to act as an individual," added Winarni Savitri, a member of North Maluku House of Representatives, who also happens to be the queen of the Sultanate of Bacan.

The forum was held with aid from Burung Indonesia and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Program. Attendees came from various institutions including the Customs of Ternate, Ternate District Court, Ternate Police Department, Government of Tidore Islands, Government of Ternate, Law Enforcement Office of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Forestry Service of Ternate-Tidore, and birding community.

"In general, all participants agrees to strengthen the coordination among our institutions and improve the synergy in order to promote better protection for the parrots of North Maluku," concluded Swasti Prawidya Mukti, PROFAUNA's campaign officer.

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ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats