On 5 February, FLIGHT supported BBKSDA South Sulawesi and the Military Police of Naval Base VI in providing awareness raising to more than 300 Navy military personnel on the importance of protecting wildlife in their natural habitat and the prohibition of illegal wildlife trade.

This socialisation in order to participate in the 78th Anniversary of the Naval Military Police at the Makassar Lantamal VI Command Headquarters. This socialization activity illustrates the Lantamal’s commitment to plant and wildlife conservation efforts.

The socialization was attended by ± 300 people consisting of the Commander of Lantamal VI, First Admiral Ivan Gatot Prijanto and his leadership, members of the Navy POM, soldiers and civil servants of Lantamal VI Makassar and the Head of Jasa Raharja Makassar and the South Sulawesi KSDA Center team.

Head of the South Sulawesi KSDA Center, Ir. Jusman, as the socialization resource person, highlighted the vital role of South Sulawesi and West Sulawesi Provinces as the “gateway” to eastern Indonesia and the connecting route to the Archipelago’s Capital City. Both provinces are strategically located geographically and demographically as trade routes for illegal wild plants and animals in Eastern Indonesia.

The main challenge faced is poaching and illegal circulation of wild plants and animals. From several cases in the field, the types of plants and wildlife that are often circulated illegally are aves, reptiles and mammals. The latest modus operandi found by officers of the South Sulawesi KSDA Center was the delivery of 13 monitor lizards through a delivery service with the description of motorcycle accessories. In addition, species of birds have been shipped using bamboo sticks, which were then listed as children’s toys on the shipping manifest. The increasing variety of smuggling methods poses a challenge to officers in the field, especially at vulnerable points such as airports, ports and terminals.

In an effort to overcome these challenges, the South Sulawesi KSDA Center is actively carrying out various preventive and repressive efforts. Preventive efforts are in the form of patrol and guard activities at vulnerable points, socialization of protection, and coordination among related stakeholders. While repressive efforts are carried out in the form of confiscation of illegal plants and animals through a coaching approach and legal process.

The South Sulawesi KSDA Center hopes that socialization on illegal plant and wildlife trafficking will increase knowledge, awareness, and public participation in plant and wildlife conservation efforts. The Indonesian Navy, as the main component of maritime defense, is expected to support plant and wildlife conservation efforts in water transportation routes. Coordination with related agencies, especially in the maritime sector, is expected to maximize synergy among stakeholders in efforts to handle the circulation of illegal plant and wildlife protection in the work area of the South Sulawesi KSDA Center.

With the spirit of togetherness, we can maintain the sustainability of natural resources and make a positive contribution to the realization of an advanced Indonesia.