Action Plan for National Conservation of Orangutans launched in Bali.

Thank you F.J.Pechir for your comment about the new Action Plan to save orangutans - we are also very hopeful. On Monday 10th December important and promising news, for the future of the orangutan and its habitat, came from the United Nations Climate Change Conference , in Bali Indonesia. The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, launched the “Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017” book.

At the launch the Indonesian president said “The fate of the orangutan is a subject that goes to the heart of sustainable forests ... To save the orangutan we have to save the forest."

Togu Simorangkir, the Chairman of Yayorin ( Orangutan Foundation partner NGO), had been actively involved in the development of this Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan book. He said "The book consists of a specific, measurable and time bound action plan in regard of orangutan conservation in Indonesia. It was a very important event for all orangutan conservation stakeholders in Indonesia because it shows strong commitment from all parties to work together and serious support from the government in orangutan conservation."

The Action Plan commits to maintaining orangutan populations above critical thresholds at which their populations may fail to recover. A core target of the plan is to stabilize orangutan populations and habitat from now until 2017.

Other goals of the plan are to return orangutans currently housed in rehabilitation centers to the wild by 2015 and to ensure that government and businesses follow established and developing guidelines on orangutan conservation.

According to Dr. Erik Meijaard, a Senior Scientist with the Conservancy and Science Advisor for Orangutan Conservation Science Program (OCSP) “as much as 1 million hectares of orangutan habitat scheduled for conversion to oil palm will be saved through the plan’s implementation”.

“This could lead to 9,800 orangutans being saved and prevent 700 million tons of carbon from being released.”

Dr. Meijaard also said "If payments for avoided deforestation become an official mechanism in the global climate agreements, then buyers will likely compensate Indonesia for its forest protection. Protecting orangutans will then lead to increased economic development in the country. Such a triple-win situation is not a dream. With some political will, it can soon be reality."

“One million hectares of planned forest conversion projects are in orangutan habitat,” added Rili Djohani, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia Program. “Setting aside these forests is an important step for Indonesia to sustainably manage and protect our natural resources. It benefits both local people and wildlife while making a major contribution towards reducing global carbon emissions.”