keeping an eye on the forest

March 4, 2015 – A Chevron research project is revealing new information about the kinds and numbers of wildlife in Mount Halimun Salak National Park in West Java. The project, named Eye on the Forest, was conducted in partnership with Conservation International Indonesia (CII) during a six-month period in 2014. The project's goal was to monitor jungle's wildlife in order to maintain a harmonious balance with human activities.

Chevron Eye on the Forest Study

A pair of rarely-seen juvenile Javan Leopards pass by one of the Eye on the Forest cameras in Indonesia’s Halimun Salak National Park.

Chevron has a long history of protection and support of Indonesia's national parks and recreational areas. One such effort was a wildlife survey conducted in 2006 that provided a data baseline on which the Eye on the Forest study could build.

The 279,000-acre (1,130-sq km) park contains two important ecosystems at Mount Halimun and Mount Salak, which are connected by an eight-mile (13-km) forest corridor. Endangered species such as the Javan leopard, the Javan gibbon, the grizzled leaf monkey and the Javan hawk-eagle rely on the park and the corridor for their habitat. The park is also adjacent to Chevron's Salak geothermal power station, one of the largest geothermal operations in the world.

Eye on the Forest cameras—housed in self-contained, waterproof and shockproof boxes—were placed at eight locations based on the 2006 survey. Infrared sensors detect motion and trigger a camera shutter, capturing an image of animals in the area.

The resulting photos confirmed a growth in population of the Javan leopard and other species. The study also captured photos of the wild boar, the muntjac, the common palm civet, the Malayan stink badger and the leopard cat.

CII researchers also confirmed that Chevron's activities were helping to ensure the survival of species in the area, though there is still more work to be done to protect the species and their habitat. One contributing factor has been the company's Green Corridor Initiative, which is restoring a degraded forest area that connects the Mount Salak and Mount Halimun ecosystems. The initiative aims to plant at least 250,000 native trees over five years and maintain a sustainable environment for migratory animals. Chevron has also worked with the park and the Raptor Sanctuary partnership network, which runs bird rescue operations and educates the public about birds of prey and their habitats.

Chevron's programs have also helped raise community awareness of the importance of biodiversity in Mount Halimun National Park and surrounding areas. The latest surveillance results also will be shared with Chevron employees and contractors to ensure that their daily activities will help maintain the biodiversity of the Salak operations area.

"Based on our review, we all agree that the program is significant and should be continued," said Chevron's Paul Mustakim, general manager of Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Geothermal and Power Operations. "During the next phase of the program, the office of Mount Halimun National Park will hold the primary role of monitoring the endangered species with support from CII while Chevron will support the project with the park office as a subject matter expert."

The Eye on the Forest program is consistent with Chevron's goal of conserving biodiversity in its operations, which includes avoiding and reducing potential harm to sensitive species, habitats and ecosystems. The program also supports Chevron's global partnership with Conservation International to advance science, tools and practices in order to manage ecological and related social risks while developing and producing energy resources.

Published: March 2015