In conjunction with the Earth Day commemoration which is observed worldwide on April 22, the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation at Samboja Lestari releases another three East Kalimantan orangutans, after successfully releasing six orangutans to their natural habitat one year ago.
Samboja, East Kalimantan, April 14 - 15, 2013. Today three orangutans consisting of one male (Leo) and two females (Juminten and Titin) are commencing their journey back to the forest. Leo will be flown by a helicopter from the BOS FoundationOrangutan Reintroduction Program at Samboja Lestari to the Kehje Sewen Forest in Kutai Timur and Kutai Kartanegara Regencies, and Juminten and Titin will follow by helicopter on April 15 after making the first part of the journey by road to the transit enclosures at PT. Kaltim Prima Coal, and to be released in pre-designated release points by the banks of Lembu River.
The Kehje Sewen Forest is an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) managed by PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI), a company that was established by the BOS Foundation on April 21, 2009, solely to acquire the right to use and manage a forest which is desperately needed to release rehabilitated orangutans from the BOS Foundation Orangutan Reintroduction Center at Samboja Lestari.
This release event involves the collaboration of all stakeholders, including the Coordinating Ministry for People's Welfare, East Kalimantan Provincial Government, Kutai Kartanegara and East Kutai Regency Governments, East Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, and the people of Kutai Kartanegara and Kutai Timur. The BOS Foundation would also like to convey their gratitude for the moral, financial and logistical supports from private sectors such as Bank Central Asia (BCA), PT. National Utility Helicopters and PT. Kaltim Prima Coal, as well as individual donors, partner organizations and other conservation organizations across the globe who are concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.
The Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, dr. H. R. Agung Laksono, who attends the event said, “The people of Indonesia must maintain orangutans in their natural forest habitat. Humans need the forest which acts as our natural sustenance, either to prevent flood, land erotion, and as the lungs of the world, and orangutans are part of thatnatural ecosystem. I feel honored and fortunate to be able to attend this event, because this is a true example of how the different stakeholders work together to protect and preserve the forest, for the sake of long term human welfare and long-term conservation.”
Along with the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, East Kalimantan Vice Governor Drs. H. Farid Wadjdy, M.Pd. also attends the ceremony. In addition to Earth Day commemoration, the Minister and state officials also show their support towards the land rehabilitation program at Samboja Lestari by planting trees.
The Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) of the Ministry of Forestry Ir. Darori Wonodipuro, M.M. also stated, "When we talk about orangutans, which are protected by law, the responsibility to protect them and ensure their sustainability rests with all Indonesian people without exception. And thisshould not be forgotten and must always be applied in the management of ourland in Indonesia. All parties, including the central and local governmentsmust refer to the legal boundaries and processes, as well as implementing astrict obligation to maintain and preserve the environment."
Adding to the Minister’s and the Director General’s statements, Drs. H. Farid Wadjdy, M.Pd. said, “The commitment of the Provincial Government has not changed. We still closely work together with the BOS Foundation, the Regency Governments, and other stakeholders in the effort of allocating more lands for ecosystem restoration concessions, especially to provide suitable habitat for orangutans. We alsocollaborate with the East Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority to increase the activities of monitoring, surveillance, and law enforcement at the remaining habitat in East Kalimantan. This is in accordance with the Kaltim Green Program ran by the East Kalimantan Provincial Government.”