PONGO Alliance



An initiative connecting some of the biggest players in the palm oil industry with NGOs and experts focused on the protection of orangutan habitat in an oil-palm landscape.



 80% of orangutans live outside protected areas, and depend on forests for their survival.

When oil-palm expansion fragments these habitats, problems occur for both wildlife and the companies involved.

Our researchers have demonstrated that orangutans can move through large areas of oil-palm (causing minimal damage), which indicates that management plans which enhance mosaic landscapes can provide solutions for the survival of the orangutan (and other biodiversity) in harmony with development needs.



Oil-palm growers (such as  Wilmar and Sime Darby), NGOs (including  Orangutan Land Trust, WWF, FFI) and independent experts (Borneo Futures).

The PONGO Alliance works as a network or platform to encourage collaboration in pursuit of effective and sustaianable solutions for protecting orangutans and their habitat in an oil-palm landscape.



To broaden and sustain collaborative engagement between oil palm growers and all interested parties for orangutan conservation

To develop guidance on how social and environmental actors contribute to orangutan conservation in oil palm plantations

To promote innovative plantation practices and leadership that deliver the best conservation outcomes for orangutans



Initial activities:  

  • Communicate through case studies and via media the positive efforts that companies are taking in conserving orangutan habitat and the experience of business opportunities of conservation of orangutan habitat.


  • Develop a map of orangutan landscapes.


  • Compile a list of palm oil companies operating in these landscapes.


  • Develop methodology and tools for HCV Assessment in orangutan ranges.


  • Develop guidelines for habitat management plans and requirements for implementation.


  • Simplify the BMP into DO’s and DON’Ts in such a way that companies can pick-up and implement easily.


  • Pursue advocacy with other companies, the RSPO and other stakeholder groups, and the government.


  • Organise further workshops and training.



The key is collaboration guided by sound science offered by trusted NGOs and experts, at a grand scale. Not just one company with one NGO, but business to business cooperation, utilising the accumulated expertiseof several NGOs and experts, engaging other stakeholders, and ultimately, engaging the government.