education

Orangutan Foundation celebrating International Orangutan Day in Central Kalimantan

International Orangutan Day (19th August) aims to increase global awareness about orangutans and their tropical forest habitat. This weekend, Orangutan Foundation, in Central Kalimantan, orangutan capital of the world, have a festival of activities arranged for hundreds of people. Members of the youth groups, Kalteng Indonesian Conservation Cadre Communication Forum (FK3I) and the Student Nature Lovers, throughout Kowaringin Barat Regency will join in. We’ll be celebrating orangutans and conservation with overnight camping and art activities. Five local kindergartens are taking part in a colouring contest. We’ve also organised a car-free day in the town of Pangkalan Bun to highlight this global day celebrating orangutans. Ensuring awareness is achieved here, means that a real difference can be made.

The overall aim is to increase community awareness about the environment and the presence of wild orangutans in the surrounding forests. Leaflets will be distributed informing people how to avoid human-orangutan conflicts.

This action is needed more now, than ever before.

Watch this space for news and images of how the festivities went.

Have your donation doubled for free and support Borneo's wildlife conservationists

From 28th November until 5th December you can DOUBLE your donation through the Big Give Christmas Challenge, at no extra cost to yourself. Click here to donate and double your impact to support our work. This year our we are raising funds to inspire Borneo’s future conservationists. In this clip Arie, Research Manager of Pondok Ambung, our tropical forest research station in Tanjung Puting National Park, explains why it is important.

We use camera traps to monitor the wildlife in the forests surrounding Pondok Ambung. Watch this short clip to see some of the species we’ve managed to capture on film!

To protect Indonesia’s biodiversity, future conservationists need to be encouraged and supported.

Orangutan Foundation hosted 53 visiting Indonesian silviculture students from Bogor Agricultural University in June.. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Our research station is a base from where Indonesian students and international scientists can conduct research. Take a virtual tour below:

Please help us to ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people.

Image© Helen Delachaux.

Thank you for your support. Click here to DOUBLE YOUR DONATION through the BIG GIVE.

Image© Orangutan Foundation.

 

The Plight of Pongo Pygmaeus

We would like to share this post written by Justin Wateridge, Managing Director of Steppes Travel.

On Thursday many young people - perhaps a child, grandchild, niece or nephew of yours - received their A level results, but what does the future hold for them? Perhaps not one with pongo pygmaeus.

To you and me that is the Bornean orangutan which is now feared to have less than 50,000 individuals and hence last year it was listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the highest risk category. We hear much in the news about elephant ivory, rhino horn and the hunting of lions but little or nothing of the enigmatic man of the forest.

Yet every year orangutan populations are threatened because of their habitat, low-lying tropical rainforest, is being destroyed and converted to oil palm plantations. Orangutans and the majority of biodiversity supported by tropical rainforests cannot co-exist with oil palm plantations. The use of fire to clear land for plantations is an additional risk to an already serious threat.

An encroaching human population is adding to the orangutans' habitat loss. Last year the Orangutan Foundation rescued many more threatened animals than they have before - only half of these were orangutans, the rest were a diverse range of forest creatures including sun bears, leopard cats and slow loris.

Having just come back from Indonesian Borneo, I met with the inspiring Ashley Leiman on Wednesday to see what more Steppes Travel could do to support the Orangutan Foundation UK the only one of six orangutan agencies in the UK that has permanent projects of the ground.

Given that today is International World Orangutan Day I would urge you to think about what you can do to help, either directly via the Orangutan Foundation's website or better still by travelling with your family as I did to see orangutans in situ or join our revamped Orangutan Conservation tour.

Yes you can see orangutans in this country but only in a handful of zoos - Blackpool, Chester, Colchester, Durrell and Twycross and we believe there is no substitute for doing so in the wild.

Participants of the Steppes Travel Borneo group tour will be joined by an expert from the Orangutan Foundation, offering exclusive insight into our conservation projects taking place in Central Kalimantan.

Alternatively, you can support our Forest Restoration Programme in Indonesian Borneo by purchasing a copy of our book: "The Orangutan's World".  

The Orangutan's World - available for purchase

This wonderful book provides a glimpse into the world of the orangutan through a collection of photographs of the flora and fauna found in Indonesian Borneo.

Community Outreach in Tanjung Puting National Park

On the 22nd May, Orangutan Foundation field staff teamed up with Orangutan Green Teams and conservation cadets FK31 to run awareness activities with Sekonyer Village, within Tanjung Puting National Park. The primary aim of the activities was to educate and support the villagers activities to help protect the critically endangered orangutan and its threatened forest habitat. Community outreach is a cornerstone of the Orangutan Foundation’s work in Indonesian Borneo.

A variety of activities ensued, which included painting the village library and distributing books, as well as games for the children. The aim was to encourage members of the village to support ecotourism in the area as an alternative to habitat destruction.

As OF Research Manager Arie reports “We need more…to keep these activities running…support the people of Sekonyer Village! We stand together…”

It is vital we reach out to local communities around areas of protected tropical forest habitat in order to ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people.

Please donate today to support the Orangutan Foundation’s community work in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

The Foundation out and about...

DSCF1939 In October this year, the Foundation staff visited a school in west London, one of several schools we've enjoyed visiting in 2014. Our UK school visits go hand in hand with our Education Programme in Indonesia, read more here. 

This class had been studying rainforests across the globe, learning how habitat destruction effects the endangered orangutan and other wildlife. With the presentation and activities led by Foundation staff, the visit further encouraged the class to raise environmental awareness. Children particularly enjoyed listening to an orangutan long call and trying to make the distinctive call themselves.

DSCF1942

The Foundation thanks the class and teaching staff for their generous contribution.

To learn more about orangutans, with downloadable resources, please visit our website (click here). See our wide range of work in Indonesia by clicking here. 

Thank you to everyone who supported Orangutan Awareness Week and The Big Give this year.

 

Fish lend a helpping... fin!

Fish are helping both the orangutans and Orangutan Foundations work...Only when we know what ’s there can we monitor what's happening to it. Now the focus is on the life-giving Sekonyer river in Tanjung Puting...

Gold mine run off pollution in the Sekonyer River. The health of the fish depends on the quality of the water.

Gliding through the waters of the Sekonyer River, one of the natural borders of Tanjung Puting National Park, many a traveller with the Orangutan Foundation has been entertained with stories of what lurks beneath their boat. But it’s not just the crocodiles that deserve our attention. One of the three research grants given by the Foundation and the national park in 2012 funded an investigation into the variety of fish species in the Sekonyer and one of its tributaries, the Sekonyer Kanan. Despite being part of the same river, the water conditions offer a strong contrast. The main Sekonyer suffers from pollution from an illegal gold mine in the park, visible even to the untrained eye in its far muddier, more opaque colour. From the six sampling sites, three in each section of the river, 42 species were identified, through body shape, length and height, the type and colour pattern of the scales and the shape of the fin and tailfin. Sketches were made of each fish and compared to those in guide books or previous research. Such research allows us to see the effect of water conditions on the fish – and therefore on the river ecosystem, which in turn affects the park itself.

Additionally, the education and outreach has been expanded and further contributes to capacity building via the fish ponds, built at Kampung Konservasi...
Aquaponic Demonstration Plot

These are the 'patin' fish that are very good to it.

The Foundation has always committed to ongoing community development. As part of this, Yayorin (Indonesian NGO and longer time partners of the Foundation) decided to develop an aquaponic demonstration plot on Kampung Konservasi’s conservation village. Aquaponics by definition is the combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics.

The making of the fish pond using sand sacks

 

Since the construction, the ponds have been improved with bamboo guttering. The ponds have a high capacity to sustain a medium sized population grew well.

the finished fish pond complete with filtration system

The main reason Yayorin did this was because there was quite a large area of peat swamp behind Kampung Konservasi - so the ponds seemed like a very good idea. Rice and vegetables wouldn't grow in that type of soil...

"As we already had two fish ponds, we thought an aquaponic demonstration plot was an ideal new development. The water that the fish live in becomes very rich in nutrients. It is then pumped from the fish pond into an organic bed, where plants growing extract the nutrients from the water. The water then drains back into the fish pond cleaned of excess nutrients and freshly oxygenated. It was a new concept of agriculture and would be something very interesting to try." Says Eddy , Yayorin staff.

the staff collecting the proportion of the population to be sold at market

This is where the filtration occurs

Children learning about the fish crop

From this, people are learning and later adopting these techniques on their own land. On average so far, 15 groups or individuals have taken the lessons learnt and put them into (continuing!) practice in their respective locations. The facilities at Yayorin now have a fantastic reputation within the local and surrounding communities. How amazing that fish , with a little hard work, can provide such a helping 'hand'.

 

What is Kampung Konservasi and why did we fund them?


Education continues to be highly important to Orangutan Foundation which is why we are exceptionally proud to be supporting an innovative project that appeals to both children and adults on the outskirts of Pangkalan Bun. Here, Yayorin (our long term Indonesian partners) have established their Conservation Village or Kampung Konservasi, a large, dynamic environmental education complex. There is a covered outdoor learning centre (made from coconut trees), alternative agricultural demonstration plots, fish ponds, a nursery, medicinal plant garden, a small children’s camping ground and composting facility.

The fantastic news is that having funded Kampung Konservasi from it's inception in 2006, through to 2012, the project is now sustainable. Funding the Foundation receives can go on to develop Yayorin's work based outside of Kampung Konservasi. This sustainability shows how much the local communities needed and now highly value Yoyorin's resources and outreach.

Yayorin run three integrated programmes based around Kampung Konservasi: Conservation Education, Alternative Agriculture and Sustainable Fish Farming. The Conservation Education Programme incorporates the library, puppet shows, theatre, field trips, school partnerships and extra curricular activities. There have been many visits from local schools where they grasp concepts such as rubbish recycling and they are encouraged to decorate the theatre with “hope leaves” with well wishes to the surrounding environment.

The Alternative Agriculture programme has introduced concepts such as basic agriculture using the demonstration plots reflecting Yayorin’s commitment to finding alternatives to current traditional farming methods which are still essentially based around slash and burn agriculture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small-scale vegetable production (their tomatoes have proved incredibly popular!) and full-scale sustainable agriculture have been developed. There is also an Aquaponic Demonstration Plot introduced following a visit to a Sumatran NGO project. Two fishponds pump nutrient-rich fish water from the fishponds into an organic plant bed where plants/vegetables extract the nutrients from the water. Then the water, cleared from excessive nutrients and freshly oxygenated, drains back into the fishpond. Some claimed fish could not be farmed in acidic peat-swamp water, however, these fish are growing fast. As Kampung Konservasi’s manager, Sally Tirtadihardja, says, “One of our biggest successes has been proving people wrong!”

Funded by various groups, Kampung Konservasi support the implementation of educational activities and facilitate the provision of learning activities and the environment and sustainable agriculture. In the period from January to May 2012, Kampung Konservasi created strategies to optimize the learning environment as an arena so that more people receive the benefits of this project. Relationships with local universities in  Pangkalan Bun, a forum and invite students from schools assisted or not to discuss and address many areas of conservation, to enable more regular classes with a fresh approach to learning methods, as a speaker at one of the agencies local government, as in activities of the cadre West Kotawaringin Environment Body and Adiwiyata School (School-based environment) held West Kotawaringin Environment Body.

We can't wait to hear what Yayorin get up to next at Kampung Konservasi !

 

Environmental Education in Indonesia

Over the past year, the education team has been extremely busy. It ran education and conservation programmes for 34 schools, 12 villages, 7 government agencies, and one oil palm company. The activities, which are part of our EC-funded programme,  highlight the need to conserve the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve for all stakeholders, including the younger generation.

 

School visits around the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve
School visits around the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

© Orangutan Foundation 

Each school visit was evaluated with a quiz for the students to gauge how much information was absorbed. With this knowledge, the aim for 2010 is to concentrate on selected schools to give more thorough attention and time for each conservation education programme. One component was about learning how to separate waste for composting (bins were given to selected schools).

 One school (SMK N 1 Sukamara) was selected as a model to test out a new subject called ‘Ecological farming’ that puts emphasis on sustainable farming, using organic methods. Our community officer, Pak Roji, taught this subject for several months in this school upon approval from the local education district.

 education -testing

Encouraging student participation in environmental education © Orangutan Foundation. 

Soon there will be a meeting with the teachers to obtain their feedback, and to evaluate the effectiveness of this newly introduced subject. The new syllabus will be planned together with the teachers according to their needs.

Thank you to our regular donors, Matthew K, Tal B and Brigitta S - your continued support is more vital than ever. As our field costs (e.g. for running guard posts & patrols, orangutan monitoring and rescues, support for sustainable livelihoods and educational activities etc...)  increase we must maintain our commitment to these important programmes.

If you haven't already done so please consider making a donation to the Orangutan Foundation. 

With many thanks,

Cathy (Orangutan Foundation)

Lesson by MELU on Forest and Orangutan Conservation

Recently the Mobile Education and Library Unit (MELU), from our EC funded Lamandau Project, visited a local school to give a lesson about forest and orangutan conservation. More than 200 students of SMP 7 Middle First School in Pasir Panjang Village, Central kalimantan assembled in front of their school.    Melu visit to local school

 Enthusiasm was etched on their face as they listened to what Fadlik, our educator, had to say. The school yard, though clean, was barren with no big trees growing. So under the hot morning sun, Fadlik enthusiastically invited all the students to learn and understand the important of the forest and orangutan.    

Many questions were asked by the children including why forest and orangutan must be conserved, and what was the difference between orangutan and monkey?

  Melu visit to local school

Teachers watched the interaction between Fadlik and their students with interest. The teachers said their students must learn about conservation.  We hope the student’s love for their forests, their orangutans and other wild animals will increase with these efforts.

Orangutan Foundation out and about in the UK

The Orangutan Foundation office, in the UK, has been actively 'spreading the word' at recent fundraising events. Last Friday we were invited to have a stand at Thomas' Battersea School, London, summer fair. We are very proud to be Thomas's Middle School’s chosen charity for the next two years. The turn out was great and there was a great buzz with children dashing around taking part in various fun activities. Elly at Bristol Wildlife Fair

Elly from the office.

Last weekend Elly and I, from the office, travelled to Bristol, in the Southwest of England to man our stand at the annual Bristol Festival of Nature. In spite of torrential rain the turnout was very good and a lot of people took an interest in our stand!

Orangutan Foundation Bristol Festival of Nature

The Festival is incredible, an imaginative weekend of films, animal encounters, exhibitions, walks, talks, workshops and competitions for all ages and interests. Thank you to everyone who came along and said hello. We would also like to thank Matthew and Julie our fantastic volunteers who helped drum up interest!

Support our work by visiting our online shop for palm-oil free soaps & candles, soft cuddly orangutan toys and much much more....

Thanks,

Kristina - Project Co-ordinator

Our Earth Day Celebrations.

On the 22nd April Orangutan Foundation and Yayorin celebrated Earth Day with students from various schools at Sukamara, which lies close to the western part of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Earth Day

Together with the Yayorin Education Team, the school children took part in a full-day of activities, starting with ‘socialization’ or getting to know each other through a series of games, stickers and magazine were distributed. As well, it wouldn’t be Earth Day without any seedlings being planted! Together, the students planted 60 seeds from four indigenous plants at the Danau Burung Post.

Earth Day

The day ended with a film screening open to all, regardless of age, of various environment-related films, including a popular local film called “Laskar Pelangi” or Rainbow Warriors.

Environment related film screenings

Environmental film screenings

Thanks,

June

Kampung Konservasi (March/April) - A new mobile library!

On Tuesday, 24 March 2009, Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia) received a wonderful donation of MOBIL BACA (mobile library) from PT Hino Motor Sales Indonesia (Hino) to support its education efforts, in areas close to orangutan habitat, in Central Kalimantan Indonesian Borneo. Bus - mobile educational unit and library

Mobil Baca - Kampung Konservasi's new bus.

Hino has already donated similar buses to other NGOs in Indonesia, and this year Yayorin was chosen as one of the recipients. The bus was specifically made to suit Yayorin’s need, and is equipped with seats in front and book shelves at the back.

The hand-over ceremony took place in Sampit, a bigger city, which is a four hour drive from Pangkalan Bun. Mrs. Aulia Reksoatmodjo, a board member of Yayorin and Togu Simorangkir, Yayorin Director attended the ceremony. Hino presented Yayorin with a symbolic key, while Yayorin showed its appreciation by giving Hino a carved orangutan wood statue.

Key Presentation

Presentation of the symbolic key to Yayorin.

Presentation parade

Presentation parade

The bus will hopefully start operating this month. We are looking forward to getting out on the road and distributing our conservation education message and materials to the local population.

Kampung Konservasi bus with Togu and Mrs. Aulia Reksoatmodjo

Mrs. Aulia Reksoatmodjo (on far left), a board member of Yayorin and Togu Simorangkir (far right), Yayorin Director.

Thank you,

Sally -Yayorin

The Rainforest Education Pack

Linda you recently asked about activities to educate zoo visitors about orangutans. I would like to recommend the Orangutan Foundation's Rainforest Education Pack which focuses on orangutans. Although it is aimed at primary school level it has many activities (e.g. nest building, masks, quiz) which could be used or adapted for use in zoos. Matthew K and Brigitta S. thank you for your monthly donations your regular support is extremely important to us.

A quick reminder that the Big Give www.thebiggive.org.uk are still doubling every pound donated to Orangutan Foundation through their matched funding page on their charity website. There has been an outstanding response so far with over £14,000 having been donated. When doubled, this amounts to £28,000! We are hugely grateful to everyone who has taken advantage of this scheme.

As always thanks for your support and interest,

Cathy - Orangutan Foundation

Kampung Konservasi February Blog - Garbage!

The smoke from garbage burning started to hurt our eyes...million of flies swarmed around us...and the unmistakable aroma of garbage welcomed us as we drove into this local waste collecting location. A trash-picker moved quickly passed us toward the incoming yellow garbage truck; he wanted to be the first to find anything inside that he could sell. Garbage

Burning garbage at Pasir Panjang waste collection centre.

Student participating in Yayorin's environmental extracurricular activity seemed a little bit bewildered this afternoon. The main subject of today’s discussion was garbage – its role on the environment, its problems and management. It was obvious that they had never seen as much garbage in their lives and probably felt quite overwhelmed by it.

Most of the students did not even know that such place exists in their city. Many could not even say where the garbage they produced at home or at school went to. In the beginning, they were not happy being ”dragged” into this disgusting place and could not stand the smell. With the passing of time, though, they started to understand why we brought them there and involved entusiastically in the learning process.

Garbage

In this meeting we asked them to identify the types of garbage they could find in an area of 1m x 1m. They then had to identify which ones were organic and which were inorganic. They were also asked to pay attention to how the garbage was collected, transported and managed.

Garbage

The Pasir Panjang Waste Collecting Location is the largest in this city and its surrounding areas. This is where all of the waste of the city finally goes to. Unfortunately, like most garbage collecting locations in Indonesia, the concept of garbage management is through burning. What was ironic was the big sign we saw there that clearly said "Do Not Burn the Garbage"!

The students had a tour around the Location. They found an abandoned composting house, filtering pond and a monitoring well. The well was located about 50 meters from the collection area, and the water inside was quite clean. It was supposed to mean that the soil water was in good condition.

Garbage

The students took home with them a valuable learning experience. We hope that now they realise where their garbage goes, and how the waste can put a really heavy burden on the environment. Next time they want to throw their garbage on the street or anywhere else inappropriate, we wish they will stop and remember their unique experience at the ”garbage place”.

Thanks,

Riyandoko and Sally (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesian www.yayorin.org)

Volunteering In Belantikan - An Absolute Pleasure To Teach

As part of Yayorin’s programme of conservation and community empowerment they are also prioritizing improving education generally for the villagers. It’s this aspect of the programme, and the communities’ request for English language teaching, that led us to go to Belantikan to work in the village schools. Living in Belantikan for one month was an absolute privilege and teaching the children an absolute pleasure. They were a joy to work with, keen and enthusiastic, and seeing them go in one month from speaking no English to confidently expressing themselves in their new language showed the enormous potential they have. Teaching in Belantikan

Class 3 and 4 in Bintang Mengalih after English class.

It was also funny to hear how the children of these remote villages picked up touches of our distinctive Liverpool accent in their spoken English, which might sound a bit odd to any future English visitors who stop to chat to them. The children also seemed to really enjoy the lessons, although some of their teachers looked a bit bemused watching their students dancing around outside class singing “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” or the “happy days theme tune”.

When we were leaving Kahingai after our last lesson there some of the children followed us down to where our boat was waiting on the river. We asked them if they’d rather leave the village behind and go to live in England and they said no. I think their quality of life here, living in this beautiful forest is better, I hope it remains that way.

School Visit to Kampung Konservasi

"By listening I know; By seeing I understand; By doing I make a difference.” The children enthusiastically approached the two cows in their stable. In their hands were the newly-cut, fresh, green leaves. They waited impatiently for their turns, and their face lit up when the cows ate the leaves.

Feeding Kampung Konservasi’s cows

Feeding the cows is probably a simple and common thing for those who live in small villages and have cows. For these children from Islam Terpadu Elementary School, however, this simple thing became an extraordinary experience. It was probably the first time they ever saw a cow in their life. The participants on this visit were 1st grade students, 55 of them, and 5 of their teachers.

Feeding the cows was one of education activities we conducted during this school visit at Yayorin's Kampung Konservasi. This outdoor learning focuses to integrate knowledge the children learn from school with some field experiences. This way, students not only understand the theories and facts, but most importantly, understand and respect the knowledge they receive.

School Visit to Kampung Konservasi

Another activity that the children found very exciting was when they were asked to plant vegetable seeds. This time, they planted pokchai ( a type of vegetable similar to chinese spinach) in black polybags. With enthusiasm they grabbed handfuls of soil that was already mixed with organic compost and put it in the polybags. Each of them made a little hole on the soil with a finger, put one seed in it, and covered it with soil. Finally, they carefully watered the planted seeds. The children really loved it!

Sowing Seeds

Other than feeding the cows and planting vegetable seeds, the children also watched an environmental movie in our little theatre and listened to story-telling in the library. The morning passed by very quickly, and everybody was sad when we had to say goodbye.

Kampung Konservasi tries to use nature as a learning ”canvas”...where simplicity and friendship with the environment are keys to understanding and respect. By giving opportunities for young people to express themselves and learn by doing, we are actually influencing their behaviors and future choices. In the long run, we hope that they can then influence others around them, including the adults. When that happens, the world will definitely be a better place!

Thank you,

Riyandoko (Education Facilitator) & Sally (Yayorin)

The Origin of Orangutan Awareness Week - by Gary Shapiro, Ph.D. Chairman, Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative.

Todays blog is a guest post by Gary Shapiro, Ph.D. Chairman, Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative. logo

Many orangutan groups work throughout the year to raise funds to support projects in Indonesia and Malaysia where wild and rehabilitant orangutans are found. But in 1995 when I was vice president of OFI, I began promoting the idea of a special week for orangutans as a way to focus collective attention on the plight of the species. While it was started under OFI’s banner, Orangutan Awareness Week became increasingly celebrated each year in November by more and more organizations and individuals.

At schools, zoos, malls, parks, restaurants and other public places, people learned about the orangutan and why its survival is being threatened. Importantly, people learned how they could help save the orangutan by participating with the various organizations that were doing the important work in the field.

In late 2004, my wife Inggriani and I started a new organization, the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI), and asked Parliament member and former Miss Indonesia, Angelina Sondakh to be our Indonesian “Ambassador”.

Angelina Sodakh

Angelina Sondakh - photo from Orang Utan Republik

One of the first things we did was lobbying the Indonesian government to recognize and support Orangutan Awareness Week through OUREI. During the process, it was suggested that the name be changed to Orangutan Caring Week as the Indonesian word for “awareness” did not sound as good as the word, “caring”. It also occurred to us that Orangutan Caring Week conveyed a more appropriate level of involvement we were seeking by the Indonesian people. We all agreed that being aware about orangutans was not enough. Collectively articulating a concern about orangutans would lead to the people demanding that more be done to save the species. So in November 2005, the Indonesian Minister of Forestry in a press conference at the Parliament Building, officially proclaimed “Pekan Peduli Orangutan” or Orangutan Caring Week.

Orangutan in Mall

Sumatran Orangutan Education Consortium pass out information and meet with visitors to Sun Plaza Mall, Medan. Photos from Sumatran Orangutan Education Consortium.

A dozen Indonesian conservation and orangutan groups held an exhibition in the lobby of the Parliament Building in celebration of the special week. The press and television media helped spread the message to millions of people throughout the archipelago.

With official recognition, Orangutan Caring Week has been celebrated in Indonesia each year since that time.

OCW 2007 - drawing

Children's drawing classes, OCW 2007. Photo from the Sumatran Orangutan Education Consortium.

photo fair 2007

Photo fair at Islamic University of North Sumatra 2007 - Photo from the Sumatran Orangutan Education Consortium

Every year the event spreads to more cities and organizations including Java, Borneo, Sumatra and Bali. It is also acknowledged in other countries around the world including the UK, Australia, and the USA. While some organizations are still continuing to promote Orangutan Awareness Week, we should remember it is the collective message that is most important. Surely if we do our job well, we can enroll people to not only become aware of the species but to move them to action.

This year, Orangutan Caring Week and Orangutan Awareness Week are being celebrated over a 2 week period. From November 9-22 orangutan organizations and inspired people will be hosting a variety of events at various locales. On the island of Sumatra for example, the Sumatran Orangutan Consortium, an association of eight organizations (including Sumatran Orangutan Society, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, Fauna and Flora International, the Orangutan Caring Club, Friends of the Orangutan, Leuser Foundation, the Orangutan Conservation Services Program, and OUREI Indonesia) will be holding a rally in Medan Square, passing out literature, screening films, and having open discussions on college campus.

Organizations in other countries will also be participating in events to draw attention to the great ape’s plight. In the UK , Orangutan Foundation will be holding “Orange for Orangutan Day” on November 14 and other awareness activities during the week. The Sumatran Orangutan Society will be holding events at Oxford University and surrounding areas. The Australian Orangutan Project has events taking place in a couple of their chapter regions: Western Australia and Queensland. Zoos such as the Greater Los Angeles Zoo are using the opportunity to increase awareness about all the apes including the chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, orangutan and gibbon (Ape Awareness Day: November 9). San Diego Zoo is holding Great Ape Awareness Days, November 13-16).

For more information about Orang utan Republik and how you can help visit www.orangutanrepublik.org

Thank you,

Gary Shapiro

Kampung Konservasi - Every Place Is A School. Every Person Is A Teacher.

Stephen only got back last night from being in the field and today left for Singapore to renew his visa - sorry no posts from him. So for this week over to Sally, from Yayorin..... Kampung Konservasi (Indonesian for Conservation Village) is an integrated environmental learning facility ran by Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia) at the city of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. What started as a dream, now has become a dynamic place where people come to learn more about how to live “in harmony with nature”, a concept barely heard of in the area before.

Forest Classroom

The idea of Kampung Konservasi is quite simple really. Because Yayorin believes that there will be no real conservation without education, we felt (and still do) that people, especially those who live surrounding the orangutan habitats, must be introduced to the idea of “nature conservation” in more direct, simple, personal ways. We need an education center; a place where people can actually go to. We cannot just preach and say “Do not cut the trees!” or “Do not kill the orangutans!” because most of those who did illegal logging practices or illegal wildlife trade in this area only did that out of necessity. They needed the money to survive. If we really want conservation to happen, if we really want people to take conservation seriously, we need to work with these people and offer them alternative ways to make a living.

Children reading at Kampung Konservasi

As I mentioned before, Yayorin believes that education empowers people. We believe that we must educate the young, and that is why in Kampung Konservasi we arguably have the biggest environmental library in the whole Kalimantan, regularly play environmental movies in our little theatre, offer small, informal “classes” for children to take part in and work together with local schools in many other environmentally-related activities. In addition to that, Kampung Konservasi receives visits from school teachers, student groups, youth groups, farmer groups, church groups, government groups and individuals almost every month.

Kampung Konservasi’s educational activities

Since its first opening for public in March 2006, Kampung Konservasi has grown so much. Through the Orangutan Foundation UK we have received operational funding from The Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation for three consecutive years; and some generous groups of people also donated funds for us to purchase more lands to enlarge our sustainable agriculture demonstration plots (more on this next time). There are still so many things to be done and so many people to be reached, but the future certainly looks promising for this exciting program. We hope that we can continue to bring you updates on Kampung Konservasi on a regular basis in this blog.

Visit us using this Virtual Tour

Terima kasih,

Sally (Yayorin)

Meet our partner, Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia)

We would like to introduce Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia) a grass roots conservation NGO. Stephen has mentioned their work in this blog because Yayorin are our partners on various programmes including the Belantikan Conservation Programme (see sidebar categories). Yayorin are an inspiring and committed organisation and we have learnt a great deal from their work. Because of this we want you to hear more about what they do. Once a month they will post an update here and hopefully, if time and resources enable them, they can increase the frequency.

We value our partnership with Yayorin, which stems from our shared vision that nature conservation benefits local communities and that the promotion of this idea is reliant on an educational infrastructure at a local level. We fully support Yayorin’s education and awareness programme REASON (Raise Education and Awareness to Save Orangutan and Nature).

Kampung Konservais is a major component of REASON. Indonesian for Conservation Village, Kampung Konservasi is an intergrated environmental learning arena. Its purpose is to encourage learning about environmental conservation issues and to demonstrate sustainable, alternative income-generating activities for people who live close to the forests.

I haven’t been to Kampung Konservasi but those who have visited are captivated by the place. Here is a sneak preview (link to virtual tour). Sally Tirtadihardja, from Yayorin will blog about the goings on at Kampung Konservasi and I hope you will enjoy reading them, as much I will.

Many thanks,

Cathy

Orangutan Foundation (UK)