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[PRESS RELEASE]

February 17, 2017

Year of Orangutan #FREEDOM: BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan BKSDA Release Another 12 Orangutans in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park

To launch our #FREEDOM campaign, the BOS Foundation in joint cooperation with the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA) is reintroducing another 12 orangutans in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBR-NP). In this event, 1 orangutan repatriated from Thailand 10 years ago, will also join the group and this reintroduction will bring the total population of ex-rehabilitated orangutans in the National Park into 41 individuals.

Press Release NM 16

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, February 17, 2016. BOS Foundation today releases more orangutans from our Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Nyaru Menteng to Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan in cooperation with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA. Twelve orangutans (8 females and 4 males) will be transported from Nyaru Menteng in 2 separate trips, on 14 and 17 February 2017. One of the females, named Wanna, was repatriated from Thailand in 2006. The release team will take these 12 orangutans from Nyaru Menteng straight to BBBR-NP located a 10 hour journey across land and river.

Our goal this year is to successfully release 100 orangutans; giving them back their #FREEDOM in safe secure natural forest.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said, “BOS Foundation is dedicated to Bornean orangutan conservation and one of our tasks is to successfully reintroduce orangutans to safe natural habitat where they can establish new viable populations. We aim to give back freedom to as many orangutans as we can and one of the orangutans we reintroduce during this event has made an incredible journey; Wanna was illegally smuggled out of Indonesia to Thailand as a baby, then repatriated to Indonesia in 2006, together with another 47 illegally exported orangutans. These orangutans have been progressing through our rehabilitation program for 11 years. Wanna is now 17 and finally ready to be returned to natural habitat and freedom. We hope this is a success story, but also it should serve as a serious reminder that we must combat illegal acts of capturing and trading protected wildlife species including orangutans. It is against the law to capture, kill or trade orangutans and to be able to return these orangutans to natural habitat, takes a serious amount of effort and funds.”

This year, our goal is to release 100 orangutans from our rehabilitation centers: Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan and Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan, to pre-release islands or to natural protected forest. This is our “Year of Freedom”.

Ahmad Yantenglie, S.E., as the Regent of Katingan who recently launched an environmental campaign “Conservation of Katingan for Borneo”, is wholeheartedly supportive of this release and said, “Orangutan releases from Nyaru Menteng are precious events which give freedom to these animals protected by law once they have completed their rehabilitation. Following years of living and learning within the rehabilitation center, the ones who are ready for life in the wild deserve the right to live free and safe in natural habitat. On behalf of the people of Katingan Regency, I am proud to have the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park with its incredibly rich forest, utilized as orangutan habitat. We will mobilize all efforts to support the critical mission of conserving orangutan populations in the area.”

Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), Ir. Adib Gunawan, said, “orangutan release efforts by BOS Foundation which have enabled the return of hundreds of orangutans to their natural habitat is highly appreciated by us all. We view this as our responsibility towards nature and biodiversity preservation, we in Central Kalimantan BKSDA will continue to provide our full support and cooperation for this event. We also need to remember that Bornean Orangutan conservation status is now listed as “critically endangered”, and we require participation from all stakeholders to successfully implement active protection of orangutans and its habitat, as well as all species found in our precious Central Kalimantan forests. This is our collective responsibility, the government, society, private sector, and non-governmental organizations.”

This release is the fourth conducted by BOS Foundation in BBBR-NP since 2016. Prior to this, since 2012, the BOS Foundation released 167 orangutans into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, Murung Raya Regency. The BBBR-NP, especially Bukit Raya which lies in Katingan watershed and is deemed suitable as a release location for rehabilitated orangutans because: (1) it is located below 900 meters above sea level; (2) is filled with an abundance of natural foods; (3) has no wild orangutan population in the area; and (4) is safeguarded from future exploitation. There are two blocks we will utilise in the BBBR-NP – the Sei Bimban and Sei Mahalut blocks, with a total area of 27,000 hectares and the capacity to sustain 318 orangutans.

BOS Foundation acknowledges the huge responsibility towards achieving orangutan and habitat conservation, and therefore involves all parties to ensure success. This release event takes place, not only with support from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Central Kalimantan Provincial Office, Katingan Regency Office, Central Kalimantan BKSDA and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park office, but also with generous support from USAID LESTARI, which has pledged to help promote orangutan release events in BBBR-NP until 2018 and Zoos Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Environment and Energy.

Rosenda Chandra Kasih, Central Kalimantan USAID LESTARI Landscape Coordinator said, “USAID LESTARI alongside our partners in Central Kalimantan once again proves the commitment towards protection and conservation in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Orangutan is a key species and main indicator of biodiversity, not only in Central Kalimantan, but also in Indonesia in general. Our utmost appreciation goes towards the Government of Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan BKSDA, BBBR-NP Office, and BOS Foundation. I hope this commitment will become stronger in the future. Through this event, USAID LESTARI would like to spread a message saying that protection and rescue effort of forests in Central Kalimantan as orangutan habitat should be prioritized by all parties.”

The BOS Foundation collaborates with other stakeholders, including PT Kayu Waja, the people of Katingan Regency and individual donors and partner conservation organizations around the world. The BOS Foundation would like to thank all stakeholders for their support and contribution to ensuring nature conservation.

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Contact:

Paulina Laurensia

Communications Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

Monterado Fridman (Agung)

Coordinator of Communications and Education Division of Nyaru Menteng

Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id

Rosenda Chandra Kasih

USAID LESTARI Kalimantan Tengah Landscape Coordinator

Email: rosenda.kasih@lestari-Indonesia.org

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT BOS FOUNDATION

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

BOS Foundation currently has more than 700 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with support from 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 USAID LESTARI

USAID LESTARI is a collaborative project between the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia. USAID LESTARI fully supports the efforts made by the Indonesian government to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase conservation of the biodiversity of forests and mangrove ecosystems rich in carbon storage.

USAID LESTARI focuses on regions with unscathed primary forests, high carbon deposits and a rich biodiversity. These regions include Aceh (the Leuser landscape), Central Kalimantan (the Katingan-Kahayan landscape), and Papua (the Lorentz Lowlands, Mappi-Bouven Digoel, Sarmi and Cyclops landscapes).

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