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[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation, PT. RHOI and East Kalimantan BKSDA to Release Six More Orangutans in Kehje Sewen Forest


Powering ahead with our 2017 #OrangutanFreedom campaign, the BOS Foundation, through our East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Samboja Lestari (Samboja Lestari) and the East Kalimantan BKSDA, will reintroduce six more orangutans to the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Samboja, East Kalimantan, April 25, 2017. In cooperation with PT. RHOI and the East Kalimantan BKSDA, BOS Foundation’s upcoming release of six orangutans to natural habitat in Kehje Sewen Forest, located in East Kutai Regency, will bring the total number of orangutans released by the BOS Foundation to the Kehje Sewen since 2012 to 68.

The six orangutans that will be released today include two males and four females who have all completed a long period of rehabilitation through our Forest School system, and who are considered ready to live independently in the wild. They will be released in the southern part of Kehje Sewen at a location where 24 other rehabilitated orangutans were previously released; all of whom have since dispersed throughout the forest.

The six orangutans will depart from Samboja Lestari and travel directly to Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. Our team will follow strict protocols throughout the 20-hour road trip, stopping every two hours to check on the orangutans and provide them with food and water.

Dr. Aldrianto Priadjati, PT. RHOI’s Director of Conservation said, “This release coincides with PT.RHOI’s 8th anniversary, and after five years of releasing orangutans into Kehje Sewen Forest, we will now utilise a wider area by opening access to more release points. This is to help give our orangutans the best chance possible to find suitable areas to forage and avoid competition. This also means we will have to build new camps, increase our monitoring staff, and open more monitoring transects. However, these past eight years have given us sufficient experience to overcome the challenges, and we remain committed to doing the best we possibly can to aid orangutan and habitat conservation efforts.”

Kehje Sewen is an 86,450-hectare area of rainforest in East Kalimantan managed as an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) area by PT. RHOI (Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia), a company established by BOS Foundation in 2009. In 2010, PT RHOI acquired the relevant permit to utilize Kehje Sewen Forest, specifically for use as a release site for rehabilitated orangutans from Samboja Lestari. Thus far, two natural births have been recorded among our released orangutans in Kehje Sewen, which is a positive indicator the forest is suitable habitat for orangutan reintroductions and their long-term conservation.

Head of the East Kalimantan BKSDA, Ir. Sunandar Trigunajasa N., said, “With the change in conservation status of the Bornean orangutan to ‘critically endangered’, East Kalimantan BKSDA is striving to improve efforts to conserve orangutans and their habitat. Fortunately for us, we have partners like BOS Foundation and PT. RHOI, which are active in conducting orangutan rescues, rehabilitation, and reintroductions. However, we cannot work alone. We need ongoing support from the central and regional governments, local communities, organisations, and the private sector to help continue the orangutan conservation effort in East Kalimantan. Lets work together to protect and restore those natural habitats we have impacted on so negatively due to irresponsible human action. Let’s look ahead and really strive to be more environmentally friendly going forward.”

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO,said, “In 2017, the year of #OrangutanFreedom, the BOS Foundation have heightened their activities to give freedom to more orangutans. This year we have already helped repatriate an orangutan smuggled to Kuwait; rescued orphaned baby orangutans captured by local people; and translocated wild adult orangutans displaced by forest fires to safe forests. We have prepared pre-release islands for those orangutans that have completed the Forest School rehabilitation process, in order to prepare them for their final reintroduction to a wild forest and we have conducted successful reintroductions. But we need help. It’s impossible for us to save orangutans if deforestation is still allowed to continue unabated at this breakneck speed. We need support from all parties and institutions to help save this umbrella species and their habitat. We all need clean air and water, and a balanced climate; therefore we need orangutans to maintain the forests we rely on.”

This orangutan reintroduction has only been made possible through cooperation with the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan, the local governments of East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara regencies, and the local residents of said regencies. BOS Foundation is extremely grateful for the moral and financial support provided by PT Narkata Rimba, BOS Switzerland, individual donors, and other partners and organizations from around the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.

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Contact:

1. Paulina Laurensia

Communications Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

2. Suwardy

Communications Staff Samboja Lestari

Email: ardy@orangutan.or.id

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT THE BOS FOUNDATION

Founded In 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and international partner organizations.

Currently, the BOS Foundation is working to rehabilitate more than 700 orangutans with the support of 400 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.

ABOUT PT RHOI

PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI) is a company established by the BOS Foundation on April 21, 2009, solely to acquire the Utilization of Forest Timber Products licence through Restoration of the Ecosystem (IUPHHK-RE), also known as the Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC).

As a non-profit organisation, the BOS Foundation is not permitted to apply for certain licences due to government regulations. Hence, RHOI was established. The permit gives RHOI the authority to manage a concession area - in this case, a forest area – which is imperative in the planning and implementation of orangutan releases.

On August 18, 2010, RHOI was issued an ERC permit by the Ministry of Forestry, for an 86,450-hectare section of rainforest in East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. This ERC provides a suitable, protected, and sustainable habitat for orangutans for at least the next 60 years, with the option of extending for another 35 years. The funding to purchase the permit, which cost around US$1.4 million, was received from donors and the BOS Foundation’s partner organizations in Europe and Australia.

The forest’s name, ‘Kehje Sewen’, translates as ‘orangutan’ in local Dayak Wehea language. By name and nature, the Kehje Sewen Forest has become a forest for orangutans. For more information, please visit www.theforestforever.com.

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