TEMPO.CO, Malang - The Public Alliance for Wendit Forest, along with local residents and members of Walhi East Java, waged a protest against Public Company Perhutani, for cutting down trees at Wendit tourism park, Malang. They claimed the activity has caused the population of long-tailed monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) to drop from 300 to 150, according to the protest coordinator, Teguh Prijatmono.
Teguh added that the monkeys were starved as their habitat was destroyed, causing them to breach the surrounding residential areas. Moreover, he said that Wendit forest also plays a crucial role in providing water supply, because of its 2,000-per-second water debit.
He explained that Perhutani cut down sono keling and jati trees, some of which have been there for over 100 years. "Wendit people will soon lose their regional and historical site," said Teguh.
On the other hand, the administrator of Perhutani KPH Malang, Arif Herlambang, stated that the project was requested by the administrator of Wendit tourism park. The reason was that some of the trees were prone to crack, thus endangering the visitors. "Now we will stop cutting the trees," he said, suggesting that Perhutani will ask local residents to help deforesting the area.