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Animal Shelters Near Collapse

Username By Barrie | December 5th, 2007 | Comments No Comments

A noted conservationist has urged the government to take over the operation of seven Animal Rescue Centers (PPS) across the country, saying they are on the brink of financial collapse. “Most of these centers can’t even generate enough money to feed the animals. Some haven’t been able to pay the salaries of their employees for quite some time,” Rosek Nursahid said at PPS Petungsewu in Malang, East Java.

Rosek is the founder and chairman of ProFauna International, which initiated the establishment of PPS in various regions in the country.

Currently, there are nine PPS in Indonesia, seven of which — those in Tegal Alur in Jakarta, Gadog in Bogor, Cikananga in Sukabumi, Arjasari in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Toho in Pontianak, and Tasikoki in North Minahasa.

Rosek said the two other centers, PPS Petungsewu and PPS Tabanan in Bali, were still able to fund their operations. He said the financial difficulties had worsened when the centers’ main backer, the Gibbon Foundation, had terminated its assistance.

He added that the government was obliged under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to set up centers to house protected animals rescued from poachers, traders and collectors. Indonesia ratified the document in 1978.

“Consequently, the funding for all PPS in Indonesia should be included in the state budget,” he said.

Head of PPS Petungsewu, Iwan Kurniawan, said the government was caught off guard when the Gibbon Foundation terminated the funding for the centers.

“Actually, the government must be ready to shoulder the financial burden of each and every PPS five years after their establishment,” he said.

“Compared to the funds needed for reforestation programs, the money needed to sustain these centers is minuscule,” Rosek added.

Iwan said the operational cost of PPS Petungsewu, which houses 180 protected animals, is around Rp. 600 million per year.

“That means that to sustain the nine PPS the government only has to allocate Rp. 5.4 billions per year,” Iwan said.

Iwan said that the government provided regular financial assistance to PPS Petungsewu but it was far from sufficiant.

“The government provides PPS Petungsewu Rp 20 millions per month. After taxes, we only receive Rp 18 million. On the other hand, our monthly operational cost is Rp 50 million,” he said.

PPS Petungsewu raises money on its own through the Petungsewu Wildlife Education Center, which offers packages to Indonesian and foreign students.

Wahyoe Boediwardhana

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