International Orangutan Day 2020 : Apa Kabar Orangutan?

Pandemi tak surutkan semangat Pongo Ranger untuk rayakan International Orangutan Day (IOD) 2020. Meski harus dilaksanakan secara virtual, pesan yang ingin disampaikan tetap sama yakni meningkatkan rasa kepedulian terhadap satu diantara satwa yang saat ini dalam kondisi critically endangered, Orangutan.

Dilaksanakan pada 22 Agustus 2020, kegiatan dikemas dalam bentuk webinar melalui platform Zoom. Pongo Ranger menghadirkan dua pembicara berpengalaman, yaitu Abi Gwynn, mahasiswa S2 Universitas Exeter, Inggris yang telah melakukan penelitian perilaku dan kesehatan orangutan di Taman Nasional Sebangau dan Muhadi, tim perlindungan orangutan IAR Indonesia yang berpengalaman dalam menangani konflik orangutan dan masyarakat.

Mengangkat tema “Apa Kabar Orangutan?”, tentu kegiatan webinar kali ini akan membahas peran penting orangutan bagi hutan maupun manusia. Hewan yang bernama latin Pongo pygmaeus ini, dikenal sebagai spesies ‘keystone’ penyebar biji. Ini berarti mereka memiliki pengaruh besar pada ekosistem tempat mereka tinggal. Jika spesies ‘keystone’ dihilangkan dari ekosistem, maka ekosistem akan terganggu.

Sayangnya, banyak ancaman yang dapat menurunkan populasi orangutan itu sendiri, selain rendahnya tingkat kemampuan bereproduksi. Khusus  di Kabupaten Ketapang, terdapat dua wilayah yang menjadi kantong habitat orangutan yang berbentuk kawasan hutan lindung, yakni di Taman Nasional Gunung Palung dan Hutan Lindung Gunung Tarak. Sisanya, orangutan hidup di kawasan bukan hutan lindung, seperti hutan desa. Ini menunjukkan status habitat orangutan juga menjadi faktor penurunan jumlah populasi orangutan di Indonesia. Tidak hanya itu, faktor lain seperti perambahan, alih fungsi lahan, dan kebakaran hutan ikut berperan dalam penurunan jumlah hewan arboreal terbesar ini. Muhadi menjelaskan bahwa  cukup sulit untuk meyakinkan masyarakat untuk mengubah kebiasaan dengan membakar lahan untuk pembukaan lahan perkebunan karena telah menjadi kebiasaan turun-temurun.

Ketika ditanya mengenai peran yang dapat dilakukan pemuda untuk ikut serta dalam pelestarian hutan sekaligus orangutan, Abi berpendapat bahwa pemuda adalah segmentasi terpenting untuk melestarikan hutan dan orangutan karena mereka adalah generasi yang akan melakukan perubahan. Pemuda harus memikirkan solusi inovatif sehingga masyarakat dapat menggerakan roda ekonomi sekaligus  melestarikan hutan. Penting juga bagi kaum muda untuk memberi tahu orang yang lebih tua bahwa mereka ingin hutan dilindungi untuk masa depan mereka.

Sementara itu, Muhadi menekankan bahwa pemuda dapat memanfaatkan media sosial untuk mengajak teman-teman ikut serta dalam kegiatan pelestarian, misalnya penanaman pohon melalui kegiatan kemah di alam terbuka atau bergabung dengan komunitas lingkungan hidup.

Tidak cukup bergantung dengan stakeholder tertentu kemudian berharap masalah penurunan populasi orangutan dapat diatasi. Setiap orang dapat berperan, meski tindakannya terlihat kecil, namun sangat berpengaruh untuk keberadaan hutan dan makhluk hidup di dalamnya, bahkan bagi kita manusia. Tunggu apalagi? Mari lakukan perubahan dari hal kecil dan ajak teman-teman ikut dalam perubahan tersebut!

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