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If the ground beneath my feet last week could talk, it could tell a long story of land and logging, crime and conservation — the kind of story that defines rainforest politics.
I had come to Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia to learn about its potential to protect the Bornean orang-utan, a species whose total population is so small it could not fill all the seats at a World Cup football stadium.
The park is immense. It covers over half a million hectares of former logging concessions and though it is far from pristine it is home to around 7,000 orang-utans — more than live anywhere else.
A race is on to restore the park’s vegetation and ecology so it can support these apes, but the scale of deforestation and the nature of the land make this job immense.
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