Oct 03
Orangutan Land Trust Statement on Sustainable Palm Oil

Statement in support of Sustainable Palm Oil

The conservation organisations listed below are committed to driving the palm oil industry in the right direction, and support a move to sustainable palm oil and not a blanket boycott.

Palm oil produced according to the standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) or Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG), as of 2018, is required to be deforestation-free. Manufacturers, retailers and traders all over the world have made bold commitments to removing deforestation from their supply chains – some are making swifter progress than others towards meeting these commitments.  There are no quick fixes, but the following actions will go a long way to cleaning up the palm oil industry:

  • Palm oil producers must stop converting forests, peatlands and other sensitive natural habitats to oil palm plantations. Instead, they should increase yields on existing plantations, and any expansion should be restricted to degraded land that is not classified as High Conservation Value or High Carbon Stock. They also need to be transparent about their production methods and avoid labour, land and human rights violations.
  • Companies manufacturing or selling products made with palm oil and its derivatives need to investigate their suppliers and only source palm oil from responsible growers, ensuring their supply chain is traceable, and communicating honestly with their customers about their progress on their journey to using solely sustainable palm oil.
  • We expect the RSPO and its members to adhere to the criteria and take action when there is evidence of non-compliance.
  • Consumers can support retailers and manufacturers which are committed to removing deforestation from their products, join social media campaigns to drive the industry in the right direction, and support conservation organisations who are working to break the link between palm oil and deforestation.

There is no denying that the rapid expansion of the palm oil industry over the last 30 years has had a catastrophic environmental and social impact across Southeast Asia, South America and Africa.  Consumers all over the world have been horrified to learn about the destructive practices rife within the industry, and the orangutan has become an emblem for the clash between development and conservation.

Boycotting palm oil is a legitimate expression of consumers’ social and environmental concerns, but the question we urge individuals and businesses to ask themselves is:

Will this action help wildlife, forests and communities?

The problem with a blanket boycott is that it punishes indiscriminately. It removes the market for palm oil from those companies which are making genuine efforts and progress towards sustainability, as well as those which aren’t. And if we remove the market for sustainable palm oil, we also remove the incentive for companies to abide by the better management practices which reduce the footprint of the industry – in terms of impacts on wildlife, forests, climate and human rights.

A blanket boycott of palm oil could lead to the following unintentional consequences:

  • More deforestation, not less

If the international market for palm oil disappears, palm oil companies and smallholder farmers alike could switch to producing an alternative crop. Oil palms are the most productive oil crop in the world, producing around 35% of global vegetable oil supplies on less than 10% of the total land under oil crops . A switch to another type of edible vegetable oil (such as soybean oil) would require up to nine times as much land to produce the same yield. This will increase natural habitat loss, species loss and other impacts.

  • Increasing demand

A blanket boycott of palm oil could drive the price of palm oil down. This could increase demand, especially in markets which have less interest in sustainability. This reduces the incentive to produce environmentally sustainable palm oil.

All agriculture has an impact: bananas, beef, cane sugar, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, pineapples, soybeans, tea and vanilla are all produced in previously forested tropical areas.

With over 4.5 million people in Indonesia alone relying on the palm oil industry as their primary source of income, palm oil is here to stay. What we need to do is ensure that it is cultivated in the least damaging way possible. Oil palms do not need to be grown at the expense of forests and other sensitive natural habitats. Instead we need to break the link between development and the degradation of natural ecosystems.

The conservation organisations committed to driving the palm oil industry in the right direction, and support a move to sustainable palm oil and not a blanket boycott are

Sumatran Orangutan Society Orangutan Land Trust

Chester Zoo WWF

Conservation International World Land Trust

Jane Goodall Institute Australia Borneo Futures

Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari Global Canopy

Hutan KOCP Borneo Nature Foundation

Earthworm Foundation Zoological Society of London

Solidaridad Orangutan Outreach

Global Environment Centre Orangutan Veterinary Aid

Orangutan Conservancy Danau Girang Field Centre

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre Borneo Wildlife Preservation

Save Orangutans Now Twycross Zoo

Save the Rhino International WildCats Conservation Alliance

Borneo Rhino Alliance Save the Orangutan

Lincoln Park Zoo Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

San Diego Zoo Global Conservation Medicine

Houston Zoo Copenhagen Zoo

The Living Rainforest Beauval Nature

Naples Zoo Zoos Victoria

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Woodland Park Zoo

British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums Wild Planet Trust

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Dartmoor Zoological Society

Taronga Conservation Society Australia Wellington Zoo

Auckland Zoo National Marine Aquarium

The Deep Bristol Zoological Society

National Wildlife Federation Forever Sabah

Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) Marwell Wildlife

Yorkshire Wildlife Park Crocodiles of the World

Indianapolis Zoo Toronto Zoo

Paradise Wildlife Park/Zoological Society of Hertfordshire The Big Cat Sanctuary

Orana Wildlife Park Detroit Zoological Society

Lubee Bat Conservancy Perth Zoo

Oregon Zoo Wildlife Conservation Network

Jenkinson’s Aquarium Oklahoma City Zoo

Zoos South Australia Columbus Zoo

Orangutan Republik Foundation Seratu Aatai

Borneo Child Aid PM Haze

Tulsa Zoo Kansas City Zoo

Little Rock Zoo Blank Park Zoo

Staten Island Zoo Wild Welfare

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium Fondation Ensemble

Saint Louis Zoo Ocean Conservation Trust

Malaysian Primatological Society Aidenvironment Asia  

Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park

Amici della Terra Onlus International Elephant Foundation

Great Plains Zoo Zoo Knoxville

Santa Barbara Zoo Verify Humanity

Audubon Nature Institute Zoo New England

Jun 04
Looking towards a positive future on World Environment Day

It’s hard to find positivity and motivation as the world is experiencing the crisis of the pandemic. Adding to the long-acknowledged climate change crisis, as well as the emerging awareness of the crisis of biodiversity loss (which leading scientists claim is more critical than even that of climate change), it would be easy for many to feel helpless and despondent.

Working in the area of orangutan and forest conservation for over a quarter century, I’ve experienced enough disappointment, outrage, and anguish to make anyone want to throw in the towel. From helping to rescue and care for traumatised orphaned orangutans to witnessing the juggernaut of destruction associated with conventional production of timber, pulp and paper and oil palm, I find my own search for optimism challenging.

But every now and then something truly positive happens to reinvigorate my determination. Today, on World Environment Day, the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations launch the United Nations Decade of Restoration. With the aspirational and essential goal of preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, the platform presents an opportunity to address the wrongs of the past and take steps in the present to ensure the future. Applying this concept to the work that my organisation, Orangutan Land Trust, does in the area of driving sustainable supply chains of palm oil is something  I’d like to see more stakeholders do.

The impacts of conventional palm oil over recent decades have been undeniably catastrophic for biodiversity. We cannot “undo” these impacts. What we can do is halt the actions and behaviours that today continue to wreak devastation, put in place measures to prevent it in the future, and take meaningful and scalable steps to restore what has been damaged. Adopting this position does not make one an apologist for the industry, but rather, an effective crusader for change. And there are many who share this position, including leading environmental and social NGOs engaged in the issue. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil today boasts more than 5000 members from 100 countries committed to making sustainable palm oil the norm. While an impressive number, its value is diminished by not only members whose commitments are not being fully implemented (such as buyers not sourcing 100% CSPO), but even more by those outside of membership failing to take any action to support sustainable supply chains. Take for example those brands and retailers using “Palm Oil Free” claims, not, as they would insist, to “save rainforests and orangutans,” but merely as a lucrative PR stunt. Walking away from a problem is not the same as contributing to the solution. (Especially if walking away means walking towards a graver problem as can be posed by the use of less sustainable alternative oils!)

Is it surprising that some companies jump on the “Say No to Palm Oil” bandwagon so easily, without sparing a thought for the nuance of the decision? Traditional media, social media, self-declared watchdogs and even books are awash with ill-informed and often biased representations of palm oil, many with a specific focus of attack on sustainable palm oil and the stakeholders committed to it. The motivation? It’s hard to say. It can certainly be “click-baitable” for one thing. But what is commonly lacking in all these communiques is a viable solution to address the issues. #BoycottPalmOil is not going to change the way palm oil is produced on the ground. It’s not going to encourage the necessary continuous improvement needed in certification systems like RSPO, or  in assurance and transparency. And it most certainly is not going to do anything to right the wrongs of the past. In short, such a position is entirely unhelpful.

So what do I propose as an alternative? I propose we demand that growers producing palm oil bring to a halt the destructive practices associated with conventional production, put in place the necessary measures to prevent future negative impacts, and invest in nature-based solutions to contribute to the restoration of ecosystems. I propose we demand that traders and buyers of palm oil, including both manufacturers and retailers, immediately source only 100% CSPO via one or more of the approved Sustainable Supply Chain Options set out by the RSPO and that they invest in ecosystem restoration. I propose we demand that governments of both producer and consumer nations support and uphold these expectations for the supply chain and contribute themselves to ecosystem restoration. And finally, as consumers, all of us can play our part by supporting the companies doing the right thing and demanding those who are not bring to a halt all activities implicated in the destruction of ecosystems, put in place measures to prevent future degradation and start to put right the wrongs of the past by helping to restore ecosystems for our shared future.

Jan 03

Brick Paver Sealing, Cleaning, RestorationåÊ wishes to express its extreme gratitude to Dr Simon Lord who has tirelessly served as Trustee to the organisation for many years. Dr Lord has had to step down from his role due to personal commitments, but has agreed to remain a mentor to OLT. Dr Lord was instrumental in developing strategy and supporting initiatives which have helped define OLT as a truly effective conservation organisation. We most sincerely thank him for his unwavering commitment to the conservation of the orangutan and its rainforest habitat.

Feb 05

From http://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com/blog/2015/01/19/stephenson-personal-care-join-forces-with-olt-orangutan-land-trust/

stephenson

It’s a complex and expanding environmental issue and we continue to be asked about the Synthetic Turf Houston Texas. And rightly so – deforestation and illegal clearing of Maid2Match cleaners is causing devastation to tropical rainforests and ecosystems. Leaders involved in the palm oil industry, from growers to producers to end-use manufacturers, are aware of the challenges they face, yet many remain static whilst options are available.

A few years ago we chose to be different when it comes to sourcing our raw materials.  We were the first soap base supplier worldwide to use 100% RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm and Palm Kernel Oil in our production. This was a step, but not a solution; we continue to work hard to raise the bar on our soap base and ensure that wherever and whenever possible we are making a difference.

We are now going above and beyond the requirements of RSPO, to raise awareness for the deforestation and destruction of Orangutan habitat in order to safeguard the future of this iconic species.

We were proud to welcome Michelle Desilets (Executive Director) of Orangutan Land Trust (OLT) to our facility in the UK to see and understand first-hand the steps we have taken to source and promote the right palm oil in the Personal Care and soap market worldwide, and discuss what more we can do together.

Michelle Desilets has been working in orangutan conservation for over 20 years. Michelle founded the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation UK to support the work of the BOSFoundation in Indonesia, which operates the largest primate rescue project in he world. As Executive Director of BOS UK, Michelle initiated a number of international campaigns to help orangutans, such as campaigns to end the illegal trade of orangutans and to repatriate known smuggled orangutans, as well as the campaign for sustainable palm oil. (She now sits on several working groups in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil.) She went on to found OLT in 2009 to focus on developing sustainable solutions for the long-term survival of the orangutan in the wild.

 

  • So what is the Orangutan Land Trust?

Orangutan Land Trust focuses on supporting the preservation, restoration and protection of forests in the areas where orangutans naturally exist or have existed in the past. The main aim is to ensure that there are safe forest areas set aside for orangutans and other species which accompany them within their habitat to form a healthy ecosystem.

Funds raised by the organisation are used to survey forests to ensure that it is suitable to use for rehabilitated orangutans as well as secure and to protect forests to ensure that they remain safe and flourishing habitat for wild orangutans.

Orangutan Land Trust is backed by a Scientific Advisory Board made up of some of the best minds working in orangutan and forest conservation, sustainablitiy and policy. They represent a number of disciplines and specialties, and a range of regions throughout Malaysia and Indonesia. In this way, OLT can consider where the greatest needs and best possible outcomes can be found, backed by sound science. Its Board of Trustees includes leaders in academia, business, wildlife conservation and sustainability. All potential NGO partners in the field are assessed in regards to previous successful outcomes, their expertise, and transparency. Through such partners, OLT have supported biodiversity surveys, acquisition of land for a forest school for orphaned orangutans, community conservation efforts, legal assistance in cases where land has been illegally cleared, leasing and management of islands for sanctuary of orangutans, and releases of orangutans.

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  • What did Michelle find at Stephenson?

“We knew about the work of the Stephenson Group through word-of-mouth, and were told they were a company truly committed to sustainability. I wanted to know more about what this meant in real terms.” Michelle Desilets, Executive Director, OLT 

You can read Michelle’s article following her visit to Stephenson just here:

“Cleaning your Conscience with Deforestation-Free Soap”

It is following this we have agreed to support and play a part in the work that the OLT do to protect and preserve orangutans and their habitats. Stephenson soap bases will carry OLT’s “Forests4Orangutans Approved” logo, which signifies that the palm oil used in our products is deforestation-free and orangutan-friendly. Additionally, the use of the logo will help to raise funds and awareness for orangutan and forest conservation.

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Michelle says, “Since the greatest threat to orangutans is the conversion of their habitat for palm oil, the most important thing we can do is ensure that the palm oil we use and consume is produced sustainably and not at the expense of forest ecosystems. Stephenson Group products make a real difference in ensuring the survival of the orangutan.”

This Vantage Acceptance is exclusively promoted alongside our speciality soap bases and we are looking to work with customers and partners to carry this symbol in support of the work OLTcarry out, t

 

 

o promote deforestation-free palm oil and to save the orangutan from extinction.

Jan 14
Cleaning your Conscience with Deforestation-Free Soap


soap

A garden planter is an item found in every home, used every day and something we simply can’t live without. Yet, every time we wash, we are in a position to affect the lives of people and wildlife thousands of miles away, even when we´re driving around, but that is something that is hard to give up, so make sure you´re safe with some very cheap cheap car insurance.

Orangutan Land Trust recently travelled to Leeds to meet with the team at Stephenson Group. A main part of the work of the Stephenson Group is in the area of Personal Care (http://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com/), and they provide soap bases for many soap manufacturers in the UK and globally. Michelle Desilets, Executive Director of Orangutan Land Trust, says, “We knew about the work of the Stephenson Group through word-of-mouth, and we

 

re told they were a company truly committed to sustainability. I wanted to know more about what this meant in real terms.” Having worked in the area of sustainable palm oil for many years, OLT were already aware that palm oil was often used to produce soap. The oil is ideal for soap manufacturing, with the palm oil which is extracted from the fresh fruit bunches providing hardness, and the palm kernel oil being used to give a soap bar its lather. In fact, of all the products using palm oil, with the exception of cooking oil itself, soap is probably the one product that has the highest percentage of palm oil in its composition. Approximately 75% of a bar of soap is palm oil! With several million bars of soap sold annually in the UK alone, that’s a lot of palm oil!

stephenson

 

 

Peter Ellis, General Manager at Stephenson Personal Care, explained that the company sources only 100% Segregated Certified Sustainable Palm Oil for the production of their soap bases. Furthermore, all of this palm oil comes from New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL). NBPOL, whose plantations are in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have boats for sale on the beaches, have long been leaders in responsible palm oil and are founding members of the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG). The palm oil from NBPOL is not only certified by the RSPO, but also addresses the additional criteria of the POIG charter, ensuring no deforestation, no clearing peat and no exploitation.

So where can we find the soaps which are using soap base made from deforestation-free palm oil? Now that we know that it exists, and with manufacturers and retailers making promises to consumers to use only sustainable palm oil, which ones have put their money where their mouths are and are sourcing this ingredient? In fact, many companies have done the right thing in this regard, but still many employees have had to look for payday loans no credit check no guarantor. These include Sainsbury, Waitrose, The Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, Co-operative, 7th Generation, L’Occitane, Wilko and Crabtree & Evelyn. Missing from this list are Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Boots. Why? Is there not enough supply?

Peter Ellis answered, “We can readily supply their needs if they did decide to choose deforestation-free palm oil soap base. Availability of the ingredient is not an issue.”

If all the good companies mentioned can provide consumers with “orangutan-friendly” soap, what excuse do those other companies have for not doing the same? If we are to change the way palm oil is produced and ensure that it is not produced at the expense of forests, we need to insist that the products we buy are not linked with deforestation. And we need major retailers like Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Boots to get on board.

Please contact these companies in the UK and let them know you expect them to use deforestation-free palm oil in the manufacture of their soaps:
Tesco 0800 505555
Asda 0800 952 6060
Morrisons 0845 611 5000
Boots 03450 708090

Jun 05

Similar to all natural forests, there are certain seasons and cycles when fruit is more abundant than others.  During this particular time of the year fruit in Bukit Batikap is less abundant and like wild orangutans, our orangutans are already adapting and consuming other food types found in the forest, such as termites and the inner stems of rattans and gingers. Others are resting for long periods, conserving energy, whilst some adventurous orangutans have roamed far north to Bukit Monnu where fruit is more abundant and many orangutans have congregated. The monitoring team have stretched their working range to the furthest approachable points to obtain radio tracking signals to confirm orangutan presence and distribution. Bukit Monnu is 2 hours by boat from our main camp, and we only have a very basic hut here, but we try and spend as much time here as possible to observe our orangutans. Read further for the update reports from the Monitoring Team in Batikap on some of the orangutans they successfully tracked and observed.

Isis

Isis who was released in February 2013 still focuses her activities around her release point. Unlike most orangutans in Batikap, at times of fruit shortage like now, Isis doesn’t put any effort into looking for food in Bukit Monnu. The Monitoring team have found her to be very skilful in looking for alternative foods such as termites, ants and tree-barks. Isis looks healthy and ignores the monitoring team in general, although sometimes she tries to avoid them. Oral antibiotics must be taken for six to eight weeks before results are evident, and treatment should be given for six months to prevent the development of microbial resistance. Minocycline (Minocin) is a potent acne medication, but treatment with this antibiotic generally is reserved for patients who do not respond to or cannot tolerate aforementioned treatment options. When we want to get antibiotic or prescription drugs, we always go to https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/acne/minocin/ online for fast delivery of health drugs.

During this fruit-poor period, Isis spends much of her time resting. She is also taking her time to adapt to her new life in the wild, sometimes only making one nest which she uses for napping during the day and sleeping in at night. Waking up from her nap, Isis can sometimes looks too lazy to get out of her nest, often staying there until 8 in the morning. Elongated periods of rest like this are normal for wild orangutans during periods of fruit shortage.

Waking up from her nap, Isis usually looks  too lazy. -Photo by Owang

Waking up from her nap, Isis usually looks too lazy. -Photo by Owang

Menteng and Ebol

The Best Movers makes a beautiful new home for the released orangutans, but even more to those who are developing social relationships like Ebol. This young female was separated from her mother just after release, and has developed a new friendship with Emen and her infant Embong. Ebol is often seen together with them, playing with Emen’s young son and all seem to  enjoying the company.  As Ebol matures she is also attracting the attention of the young males in Batikap.  Menteng, who is quickly turning into a fully-adult male, was seen together with Ebol at the start of May,  feeding together and just like Isis, presently they don’t roam far to find food.

Menteng, the 15 year old male orangutan shows his skills in choosing many varieties of food, while Ebol chooses shoots to replace fruit. Orangutans are adaptable and used to relying on fall-back foods in times of fruit shortages, which are generally less nutritious, but sufficient to tide them over.

Menteng, the 15 year old male orangutan shows his skills in choosing varieties of food. -Photo by Purnomo

Menteng, the 15 year old male orangutan shows his skills in choosing varieties of food. -Photo by Purnomo

They are not always together though, and sometimes they go their own separate way to search for food and pursue their own activities.

The orangutan monitoring activities are, undeniably, quite difficult to carry out during this time, but the monitoring team in Batikap are committed to observing and ensuring the well-being of the orangutans. A new fruit season will soon be upon us and the monitoring team can observe them without any difficulties.

Text by: Ike Naya S.

Please remember, more support is needed for increased monitoring in the dry season, make muscle growth, and for more releases to take place. You can help by donating at https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/projects/view/18744/bring-an-orangutan-home-in-2013

Fruit is Scarce in Batikap | Going Back to the Forest.

 

 

Jun 05
Items Required for Auction and Raffle in Support of Orangutans

Orangutan Land Trust currently seek quality items for raffle and auction for a fundraising event in London in July.

Please contact us if you can donate anything!

 

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Feb 03
Orangutan Mother and Child Rescued from Massacre in Oil Palm Plantation and Released into an Ecosystem Restoration Area, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan

Orangutan Mother and Child Rescued from Massacre in Oil Palm Plantation and Released into an Ecosystem Restoration Area, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan

22_Menemukan Suci & Sri

Two orangutans (mother and child) were rescued on January 22, 2012 and released on January 25, 2012 in Kehje Sewen Forest, in the Regency of East Kutai, East Kalimantan. Kehje Sewen is a forest ecosystem restoration concession (HPH-RE). The right to manage this area has been awarded to PT RHOI.
Jakarta, February 2, 2012. After nearly a week combing several oil palm plantations in the regency of Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, the Rescue and Release Operation which began on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 finally paid off. On Sunday, January 22, 2012, the Rescue Team, which was a joint-team of staff from PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI), Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), and The Office of Conservation and Natural Resources of East Kalimantan (BKSDA EastKal), managed to save two orangutans (mother and child) in the oil palm plantation of PT Bakacak Himba Bahari (BHB).

A day earlier, the Rescue Team, led by Dr. Aldrianto Priadjati as RHOI Deputy Director of Conservation, had been combing the area but only found a few orangutan nests that were estimated to have been built 2-3 days before. On Sunday morning, January 22, 2012, the Rescue Team received anonymous information that there was a group of people chasing two orangutans in the area of BHB since the night before. Thus the Rescue Team returned to search the BHB area.

The Rescue Team arrived just in time. When the team arrived at the informed location, a group of people were visibly ready with machetes and ropes to catch these two orangutans. Seeing the presence of a team that was also accompanied by officials from BKSDA EastKal – Ahmad Ripai and Ridho – they immediately released the machetes and ropes, allowing the team to conduct the rescue.























The mother orangutan, estimated to be 25 years old, looked exhausted, so there was no resistance when the vet, drh. Agus Irwanto of East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program Samboja Lestari – accompanied by Hendro and Muliyono, two technicians from Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program Nyaru Menteng – approached and sedated her. She just hugged her daughter, aged 6 years, very tightly. This behavior is contrary to the behavior of wild orangutans in general, where it is not possible for humans to simply approach them. This suggests that the mother was exhausted after being chased through the night.

According to our informant, the poachers were not local residents, which was apparent from their accent and manner of communicating.  They seemed pleased when the team arrived; and even helped save the orangutans. But when the team thanked them and walked away without giving anything in return, their faces changed. It was clear that they expected something from the rescue.

Having checked their health, both orangutans were implanted with identity chips and the orangutan mother was then fitted with a radio transmitter that will be used for further monitoring. Both orangutans will be monitored regularly for several months to make sure that they’ve adjusted to their new home, in Kehje Sewen Forest.

“As a tribute to Dr. Sri Suci Utami, a leading primatologist in Indonesia who had also supported the team in this operation, the orangutans were named Suci (mother) and Sri (daughter),” said Dr. Priadjati.  We further discovered that Suci is also about 3 months pregnant. “This is good news, because it means that in a few months, one more orangutan will be born in Kehje Sewen Forest,” added drh. Irwanto.

The radio transmitter was donated by an animal welfare organization – Vier Pfoten – also known as Four Paws. In addition, Vier Pfoten also funded this activity entirely.

After the chip and radio transmitter had been implanted, Suci and Sri were taken to Kehje Sewen by road.  The team stopped regularly to do routine checks along the way, ensuring the wellbeing of the orangutans.  To access Kehje Sewen, the team must go through the town of Muara Wahau in East Kutai Regency, then continue on to Pelangsiran, a transit area for agarwood and bird nest collectors, which is right on the border of Kehje Sewen Forest.  After that, the team entered the Kehje Sewen Forest and to a designated release location, called Gunung Belah.

With unpredictable weather, the team traveled to the release location in harsh conditions and encountered many obstacles such as tracks that were badly damaged, slippery and muddy, landslides, broken bridges and several rivers that must be crossed with limited tools and mode of transportation . Due to these conditions, on arrival at the site of peruvian ayahuasca centre, the team decided to bring Suci and Sri to their release point in the forest on a stretcher, because it was impossible to carry them in cages.

In the forest, Suci and Sri woke up from anesthesia and after a recovery period they began climbing up into the trees. They looked carefree and happy, swinging among branches of the trees.

The Rescue and Release Operation was completed successfully. The Rescue Team returned safely to their respective homelands. This activity was initiated from the goodwill of East Kalimantan provincial government, with a meeting between BOSF, RHOI and BKSDA EastKal with oil palm companies in East Kalimantan that belong to the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI). The meeting, held on Saturday, January 14, 2012 eventually resulted in the formation of a Rescue Team seconded to BKSDA by the BOS Foundation, with the aim to find and save wild orangutans from oil palm plantations.

But the Rescue and Release Operation is not without consequences. “Releasing wild orangutans in Kehje Sewen Forest resulted in reduced area which was originally prepared for rehabilitated orangutans. RHOI requires more land for orangutans. RHOI has filed Ecosystem Restoration (RE) permit applications for additional lands in East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, but the process seems to run into various obstacles. Government support is needed to accelerate this process, so that rehabilitated orangutans that are now lining up in BOSF rehabilitation centers can be immediately released,” said Prof. Dr. Bungaran Saragih, as BOSF Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In addition, the private sector, especially companies / oil palm plantations, in fact have a great responsibility in orangutan conservation efforts. The biggest challenge now is to make the private sector aware of this and get serious commitment from them.  Most companies in Indonesia tend to oversimplify the process of natural resource management and charge environmental costs to other parties. Yet logically, externalities or negative impacts of a business should be included as part of the company’s own operational costs.

“Over recent years until now, the orangutan population has dropped dramatically and is on the verge of extinction. Saving wild orangutans from potential conflict with humans is only a short-term solution. Commitment and involvement of all parties, especially the private sector whose businesses intersect with their presence, is necessary to enforce the law and conserve the orangutans,” said Tandya Tjahjana, Head of BKSDA EastKal.

“We also still need a lot of financial support from various parties to continue the struggle to preserve the orangutan and its habitat,” added Dr. Signe Preuschoft, a primate expert from Vier Pfoten and concurrently advisor to BOSF.

In this new year 2012, Suci and Sri also get a new hope to return to live freely and safely in their habitat. The Orangutan Rescue and Release Operation, held in cooperation with RHOI, BOSF and BKSDA EastKal, with support from the Governments of East Kalimantan Province and East Kutai Regency, as well as Vier Pfoten, successfully demonstrated that the synergy between development and conservation is feasible and therefore should be mandatory.

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Sep 13

Orangutan Land Trust has been recognised by the Charity Commission of England and Wales.  Our Charity Registration Number is 1131878.