Friday, May 25, 2007

Coming to Putussibau

Where is Putussibau? This is a name of capital city of Kapuas Hulu District. It is located in interior of West Kalimantan Province. It is in the upper Kapuas River Basin. You may sail from Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan, to Putussibau, and will take you a week. You may take a bus for 20 -24 hours. If the road is good. It is still taking 18 hours at least. Above is a picture of the road to Putussibau. You need to be ready to push the bus, and even spend a night on the road.

Kapuas Hulu District, actually, is one of the richest in natural resources. The district is a hot spot of illegal logging right now. In the past, it acted as a major source of government revenue. It is an irony when no more timber is left, we still have troubles due to poor infrastuctures, such as roads, power and water. We may get poorer in the future. What would you do then??

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Danau Sentarum National Park

Danau Sentarum National Park (132 000 Ha) is situated about 700 Km in the upstream of Kapuas River. The wetlands consist of a series of seasonal lakes, riparian forest, peat swamp forest, kerapah forest, and inundated swamp forest. Some dipterocapr forest occurs in dry land areas of surrounding hills.

Lakes and streams in this park have a main hydrological function to regulate water level in the Kapuas River, and play an important role in maintaining fish biodiversity in the Kapuas. During the wet season, the Kapuas water will flow into the lakes. In contrast, the lake water will discharge to Kapuas during the dry season. Also, during dry season (between June and July) the park becomes a haven for fishing. It is a major source of livelihood for indigenous people who are living in this park region.

Introduction to Kapuas River

Figure 1. Location of Kapuas River

Kapuas River (1143 Km) is located in West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. It is the longest river in Indonesia, with an average debit 6000 m cu per second. It drains to South China Sea. The Kapuas River Basin is small, only 100 000 Km sq, but it has one of highest biodiversity spot in the world. The number of fish species found in the Kapuas water is estimated to be between 250 and 500 species (See figure 1 Location of Kapuas River).

In the upper Kapuas River Basin, there are two national parks (Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum National Parks). These national parks are extremely important for biodiversity conservation in Borneo. Betung Kerihun National Park(800 000 Ha) is recommended to be a World Heritage Site, and Danau Sentarum National Park (132 000 Ha) is a Ramsar Site since 1994. Habitat types found in these parks are peat swamp forests, dipterocarp forests, riverine forests, lakes, and rivers.

Values, ecosystem services, and goods derived from these national parks are indefinite for our lives and others living creatures. It is important home for many kinds of primates (e.g. orang utan and proboscis monkey).