Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation, in cooperation with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, will release another 12 orangutans from the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Nyaru Menteng to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBRNP) in Katingan Regency. This will be the sixth release into the national park, and the 18th release by the BOS Foundation in Central Kalimantan since 2012.
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, August 2, 2017: To reach our #OrangutanFreedom goals, aimed at reintroducing 100 orangutans to natural habitat this year, BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA are again collaborating to releaseorangutans back to the wild. Four male and eight female orangutans will be accompanied by a release team on a 10-12 hours road and river trip from Nyaru Menteng to the BBBRNP, where they will be released at predetermined locations. This will bring the total number of rehabilitated orangutans released in the BBBRNP to 59.
BOS Foundation CEO Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, said; “2017 focuses on #OrangutanFreedom, and we aim to release 100 orangutans to the forest this year. With this release, we will reach our halfway release point of fifty orangutans. We are optimistic that with the active support of our stakeholders, including the central and local government, the private sector and organizations dedicated to protecting Indonesia’s natural sources, the target is within our reach. This should not only be the BOS Foundation’s goal, but our collective goal and responsibility to preserve our forests and our wildlife. Hundreds of the orangutans under our care have already completed Forest School, and others are living on our pre-release islands, waiting for their turn to be released to the wild. Orangutans are a vital part of forest ecology. Mankind needs forests to provide clean air and water, and regulate climate, among other functions. Why are we not taking better care of the animals who manage the forests for our very own survival? The way we clear land through burning, hunting wild animals, and depleting our natural resources at such a breakneck speed – all has to stop. I would like to stress if we don’t prioritize conservation, if we don’t conserve nature, humans will not survive. It is as simple as that. We urge everyone to support our cause. Land encroachment, like we are experiencing in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, clearly shows we are not receiving the full support we need to achieve sustainable conservation. Conservation efforts and their success affect all of us, and future generations to come. We founded this organization to ensure a better future for all.”
Ir. Adib Gunawan, Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), said; “Central Kalimantan BKSDA, as an extension of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and together with community stakeholders, is responsible for safeguarding our province’s natural resources. We tirelessly embrace all parties to participate in protecting orangutans, as the pride and iconic umbrella species in Central Kalimantan. One way is to initiate formation of forums, socialization and campaigns, as well as rehabilitation and the reintroduction of orangutans in safe and protected areas and protection of wild orangutan populations. The efforts of BOS Foundation to save, rehabilitate, reintroduce orangutans in Kalimantan to protected forests and conserve wild populations are initiatives that we fully support. We must make sure our children and grandchildren will be able to live in a safe protected natural world.”
Ir. Heru Raharjo, M.P., Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBRNP) in Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan Regions, said; “Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, in cooperation with BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, has already released 47 orangutans in this area. Today, 12 more orangutans will also gain their freedom. We must keep them protected in the National Park. We continue to conduct regular monitoring missions together with the BOS Foundation team to ensure all released orangutans remain safe in our forests. Our observations thus far have ensured the safety of the orangutans, and have recorded their successful adaptation to life in the wild. I sincerely hope the orangutans released here will establish a new population of wild orangutans, to help sustain ourconservation efforts.”
This release was also supported by USAID LESTARI, which has pledged to help continue orangutan release events to the BBBRNP until 2018, and the Bank Central Asia with their CSR activities, has been extremely supportive in orangutan and habitat conservation efforts undertaken by BOS Foundation.
Rosenda Chandra Kasih, USAID LESTARI’s Central Kalimantan Landscape Coordinator, said; “USAID LESTARI warmly welcomes the release conducted in cooperation with BOS Foundation with the target of returning 100 orangutans to new habitat in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Considering that the Bornean orangutan conservation status has reached the alarming ‘critically endangered’ point, it should propel us to act quickly and work in cooperation to conserve and protect orangutans and their habitat. The purpose of this cooperation is to create a new wild orangutan population. We are deeply concerned about the rampant news on how the number of orangutans in this province is rapidly decreasing. It is our collective duty to reverse this threat.”
Inge Setiawati, BCA’s Executive Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) said, “Our common misconception is that rehabilitation centers offer the best safety for orangutans. Whilst of course it is clear that the best place for wildlife is their natural habitat, the forest. Therefore, BCA strongly supports the BOS Foundation’s activities to reintroduce and conserve orangutans who have completed rehabilitation through the Forest School and pre-release system. The Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park as the current orangutan reintroduction forest is a conservation area, and this area should be safe from future exploitation.”
BOS Foundation acknowledges that successful orangutan and habitat conservation efforts areonly achievable through the participation and active support from all parties: the government, and both the public and private sectors. BOS Foundation works in cooperation with the government at all levels, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Office, the Katingan Regency Office, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park office, to help safeguard Bornean orangutans and theirhabitat.
BOS Foundation is also supported by a number of other partners, including the Katingan Regency community; individual donors; partner organizations such as Zoos Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Environment and Energy and conservation organisations around the world. BOS Foundation is very grateful for the support and contributions offered by these parties to aid the conservation effort in Indonesia.
Monterado Fridman (Agung)
Coordinator of Communications and Education Division of Nyaru Menteng
Rosenda Chandra Kasih
USAID LESTARI Kalimantan Tengah Landscape Coordinator
ABOUT BOS FOUNDATION
Founded in 1991, the 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.
The BOS Foundation currently has around 650 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with support from 440 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).