The Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation - winner of the 2017 Animalis Edition World Branding Award - in cooperation with the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (Taman Nasional Bukit Baka Bukit Raya; TNBBBR) Authority and USAID LESTARI, is conducting its 11th orangutan release to the TNBBBR.
Following last month's successful release of 13 orangutans, BOS Foundation's Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Center will today return 10 more orangutans to the natural forests of the TNBBBR, Katingan District, Central Kalimantan. This release will bring the total population of rehabilitated orangutans reintroduced to the TNBBBR to 102, since the first release to this National Park two years ago, in August 2016.
The ten orangutans to be released in today’s event include three males and seven females ranging in age from 13-16 years. They will embark on a 10-12-hour journey over land and via river from Nyaru Menteng to predetermined release points in the TNBBBR.
IR. WIRATNO, MSC., Director-General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KSDAE-KLHK), as represented by Ir. Puja Utama, M.Sc., Head of Sub-Directorate of Species Preservation, said; «Wildlife conservation efforts are only achievable through collaboration. Data from the KSDAE Directorate-General indicates that more than 50% of our animal populations inhabit areas outside of conservation areas, such as forests demarcated for production purposes (Hutan Produksi) or the provision of certain ecosystem services (Hutan Lindung), and areas earmarked for other uses (Areal Penggunaan Lain). It is imperative that all stakeholders – those from the private sector, local governments, NGOs, and the indigenous peoples of Borneo – protect these animals.
Looking forward, we hope that orangutans found outside of conservation areas will be protected just the same as those living inside conservation areas. Our passion and willingness to work in cooperation is key to creating stronger synergy.»
DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, BOS Foundation CEO, said; «The month of August has a special meaning for Indonesians, as we commemorate our nation’s Independence annually on August 17. International Orangutan Day also falls in the same month. So, we want to designate this particular month as ‘the month of freedom and independence for orangutans’. It was just last month, in July, that we reintroduced 13 orangutans to the TNBBBR in Katingan; but, we need to fulfil our target of releasing 100 orangutans to the wild this year, and we are trying our utmost to accomplish this! For us at the BOS Foundation, there is no time to slow down and relax, especially when it comes to orangutan protection. Moreover, we are concerned about recent reports of forest and land fires sparking up again in Sumatra and Kalimantan, the only two islands where orangutans still exist.
This is a crucial moment, when we can prove to the world our commitment to the conservation of our forests and the biodiversity found within. Deforestation levels usually peak during the dry season, as do the number of forest fires. We don’t recklessly release orangutans to just any forest; the TNBBBR is a well-protected national park. Together with the BOS Foundation team, staff from the TNBBBR regularly conduct patrols to ensure the security of the forest and the national park’s biodiversity. Let’s protect and safeguard the forest for all living creatures, including humans.»
IR. ADIB GUNAWAN, Head of the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said; “Conservation work takes a long time and requires collective participation from all parties concerned. The Central Kalimantan BKSDA continues to work with the TNBBBR Authority, USAID LESTARI, and the BOS Foundation to release rehabilitated orangutans. This eleventh release in Katingan District will bring the total population of orangutans in the TNBBBR to 102, a remarkable result achieved through the dedication and hard work of many parties over two years.
Everybody should be involved in the effort to conserve our natural resources. Wild animals, as part of forest biodiversity, play a significant role in maintaining the quality of forests. Take orangutans, for instance: they are the only great ape species native to Asia, and they are vital in sustaining forest habitats. We must protect and safeguard our forests! Let’s achieve the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan, to 'ensure the sustainability of orangutan populations and their habitats through the partnership of all parties.»