Kalimantan community loses future leader of conservation

Junaidi Shalat worked at the district environmental agency and was active in the community. Junaidi was also an eager participant in the community conservation leadership programme in Murung Raya. The programme forms part of a larger project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, which supports local stakeholders in gaining experience and leadership in sustainable natural resource management in the district.

“Early this morning it was a great shock when I answered the phone and heard Leni crying breaking the sad news that Junaidi had just passed away. Both Leni and Junaidi were two of the key participants of the community conservation leadership programme, an exciting component of Fauna & Flora International’s Murung Raya Conservation and Sustainable Development project. Both had just participated in the Barito River Initiative for Nature Conservation and Communities and spent three weeks with the team conducting a biodiversity survey close to Tumbang Tujang.

From our first encounter Junaidi was an outstanding person, full of energy and enthusiasm. This first meeting was the start of an intense interaction. Junaidi was keen to share his knowledge of Murung Raya with me and equally eager to learn from experience elsewhere. He participated with great enthusiasm on the series of GIS trainings and the community conservation leadership programme.

He made us aware of an interesting local initiative started by the community of Danau Usung, to protect a forest remnant to secure their source of water, with the added benefit that several groups of gibbons, proboscis monkeys and hornbills have a safe haven as well. Junaidi was instrumental in supporting this community and we decided that this is the kind of innovative conservation work that is needed to achieve a balance between economic development and conservation. Three trainings of the community conservation leadership programme were conducted in Danau Usung. Junaidi’s enthusiasm for this initiative was contagious and good progress has been made to achieve the community’s and Junaidi’s dream to protect the forest, securing the community’s water supply and protect the biodiversity in the forest.

Unfortunately, Junaidi will not be able to celebrate this success with us. This morning he passed away after a short but acute illness. His memory will remain a source of inspiration to continue to achieve the vision of conservation and sustainable development in Murung Raya.” Godwin Limberg

Fauna & Flora International send sincere condolences to family, friends and colleagues of Junaidi – a true community leader whose passion and enthusiasm touched all who were lucky enough to have met him.