Conservation of the environment starts with local communities. By safeguarding Indonesia’s unique ecosystems and natural resources, we also safeguard the livelihoods and traditions of the people who call this remarkable country home.
We are not alone on the frontlines of orangutan conservation. Even in our most remote working areas, our work and changes to the natural landscape impact the local communities. By employing local staff, purchasing consumables locally, and working within communities to build awareness and capacity, we help to empower people to better their livelihoods while at the same time protecting the environment.
Our community development work engages communities near our release sites in Central and East Kalimantan, in the Mawas Conservation Area, and surrounding the Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centres. In each of our working areas, we tailor our programs to systematically identify and address the needs of the neighbouring communities. Support activities may include reforestation and land rehabilitation, forest protection through firefighting and monitoring for illegal activities, alternative income generation such as sustainable agriculture and handicraft production, cultural preservation, and natural resource management.
We strive to develop concrete, effective interventions aimed at building community capacities and providing income-generating opportunities that enable the protection and conservation of natural resources. We consider it absolutely essential that community-level stakeholders be fully engaged in our conservation efforts through raising awareness, building capacities, and carrying out targeted community development interventions that allow communities to develop and thrive without continuing the present, unsustainable cycle of natural resources exploitation and depletion.
We fully believe in the notion that we are “borrowing” Earth from our children, i.e. we are responsible for safeguarding the natural world for the benefit of present and future generations. We actively organise school visits through our ‘Orangutan Goes to School’ program, in our working areas and several big cities. Our programs aim to not only teach the younger generation about the importance of preserving wildlife and their ecosystems, but to kindle a love for orangutans that will grow into a lifelong passion for conservation.
Last but not least, we engage in awareness campaigns, public events, training seminars, workshops, and exhibitions. By connecting with people on the local, national, and global levels, we can share knowledge, improve awareness, and empower individuals to be the agents of change that our natural world so badly needs. The internet does not know country borders, and neither does our message. You can find us and keep yourself educated on the latest orangutan news from Borneo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Only together can we leave this planet a better place than that which we have received - for orangutans, for humans, for all life on Earth.