The Orangutan Foundation is always trying to reach out to new people who may be interested in the conservation of orang-utans and their habitat... Charles Humfrey, previous Ambassador of the United Kingdom for Indonesia, invited the Foundation to present to the Anglo Indonesian society, with an aim to focus on our achievements and challenges yet to come... Here we report back on our 'Past achievements and future challenges' presentation...
On the 25th of February 2014, Ashley Leiman presented 'Orangutan Foundation's past achievements and future challenges' to the Anglo Indonesian society, hosted by the Indonesian Embassy in Grosvenor square, London. The evening was well attended by many of the societies members - from the beginning there was an atmosphere of seeing old friends and meet new people, anticipating an enjoyable and educational evening. People arrived to drinks and a fantastic selection of Indonesian food, ready to be served as people settled to discussing the evenings possibilities.
The audience's intrigue increased when Charles announced the collection of Bornean indigenous artefacts that were on display in the Ambassadors study. Charles had known Ashley had a large personal collection of sculptural pieces from various locations, and was pleased to agree to display some key pieces in a small exhibition on the evening of the presentation. This allowed attendees to get a further impression of Indonesian and Sarawak culture. It also re-enforced Ashley's own passion for the culture and history of Indonesian provinces - a passion that clearly continues to contribute to the Foundations work to date.
After members had received their first opportunity to catch up, eat, drink and view the stunning sculptural collection, members sat quietly in anticipation of Ashley's presentation about the Foundation. Starting with the Foundation's misson, Ashley highlighted the areas in which the Foundation work - both the locations and secondly, on the projects on which we focus - where we send 75% of the Foundation's funds.
Our work with co-operation and partnership with local stakeholders and other related international organisations (including our partner project Yayorin, and local government conservation authorities, local communities, industrial sector companies, other local and international NGO’s) allows a level of communication and collaboration that is invaluable to our main aim; protecting the tropical forest habitat.
As we work toward protection and conservation of critical orangutan habitats , we are proud to be able to conduct a variety of related programmes in parallel. These, as you may know from our website, include education, awareness raising, capacity building, engaging the industrial sector, conflict mitigation, and orangutan reintroduction. Whilst habitat destruction and degradation is by far the largest threat to orangutan survival, it was pointed out that the use of idle land would mean many forests could be left standing and still allow industry to expand.
The talk concluded with an emphasis on the multifaceted work that the Foundation concentrates on. None of this would be possible without the funds coming from supporters and members of the public from all over the world. As the audience listened to the final remarks and interesting questions, Ashley was able to summarise with the following...
"I have just returned from Indonesia, where I have seen the difference and progress we are making in all aspects of our work. We are committed to ensuring this will continue into the future: So we can realise our vision in which mankind can live alongside nature. Thank you all for listening to our story."