Over the next few weeks we are celebrating the dedication of the FFI/Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection & Conservation Unit (TPCU) team, and sharing members of the TPCU reflections on COVID 19 around Kerinci Seblat and its impacts ….. in their own words
First off is:
Warsa joined Kerinci Seblat Tiger Protection & Conservation as a ranger in 2006, and is a member of the three Jambi- based TPCUs.
“Merangin district, where I live, has declared an ‘Emergency’ because of Covid 19. The roads in and to and from Bangko, the district capital, are really quiet and in the town centre many shops – furniture, clothes, electronics – have closed. In the market, it is really strict now, only 10 people are allowed in at any one time, so everybody is queuing up to shop even for basics like rice.
I think in a condition like this Covid pandemic, that poaching tigers will be less of a problem or even that we won’t meet tiger poaching for a while because countries like China, Hongkong and Singapore have been so badly affected. I think that will reduce the pressure here.
But I think that poaching for tiger prey, especially deer is going to increase because there has already been a big impact on the economy, especially casual labourers, daily-paid people; a lot of people here have been laid off because of Covid. In Kerinci, a lot of people have returned from working in Malaysia, there is no work for them here and Kerinci people – like in Pesisir Selatan have a tradition of going to the forest. That’s going to be a problem for us all.”