Local Communities

Orangutan rescued

Our vet, Dr Wawan, has written this post about the rescue of a female Bornean orangutan, who had been seen in a village rubber plantation and a nearby oil palm plantation. "We had received information from Bapak Haji Arun and villagers that orangutans have often being seen in Arun’s rubber plantation, eating rubber seeds and bark and also in forest near PT GAP oil plam plantation area.

Our rescue team comprised; PT GAP Oil Palm Plantation (Darman, Erik etc); BKSDA SKW II Kalteng (Muda, As Blek) - Agency for Conservation of Natural Resources; and Orangutan Foundation (Wawan, Tigor, Sariamat, Uduk, Udin).

We arrived on location at 27 june 4.30pm. Based on Pak Erik (PT GAP) information, this place was often passed by orangutans. Sometimes they in rubber plantation at left side of road or sometimes in the forest on the right side. Pak Erik did monitoring for almost two months and he said at least five orangutans often seen there, he also took pictures.

Our team then went to the rubber plantation where we found some nests but no orangutans. We took some photos of the orangutan nests and then as dusk fell, at 6pm, we go to PT. GAP mess to rest.

The next day we arrived on location at 6am, three people had already seen an orangutan in the high branch of tree at the forest area right side of road.

After seeing the orangutan I prepare some darts with anesthetic ‘ketamine hcl’ for estimated 30 Kg body weight.

The deep trench between the road and forest blocked our path. Pak Sariamat, Uduk and I tried to find way around to penetrate the thick bush of forest in order that we could approach the orangutan from behind.

As Blek (from BKSDA) and Tigor stayed on the road to keep watching the orangutan.  After a while we came up close to the female orangutan but she see us as well. She begins to intimidate us with her voice and by throwing branches at us.

As Blek and Uduk blew the pipe for several times but all missed because she keep moving all the time, sometime sit on very high tree branches so its impossible for syringe dart reach it, we all think it would be easier with a dart gun. We keep following her for many hours but in the end we feel so tired and give up. After take a rest for a while, we decided to go out from the forest and walk to the main road road.  Udin, Orangutan Foundation staff, suddenly saw the orangutan in a tree beside the road. We were surprised and tried to capture her again but even this time we got same result, the orangutan disappeared.

We then decided to check the rubber plantation area. After a short time we found another female orangutan in a rubber tree. We spread our team to surround the target, but it is not that easy, again the orangutan is very active, keep moving. Uduk blew the pipe several times but kept missing. Then we decide to keep follow this orangutan until dusk when she also tired and making a nest for a rest. At 6pm orangutan make a nest and sleeping. We make a sign on that tree and plan to come there tommorow before sun rise.

At 4am the next day we started off to go to the location, day still dark and we use a small flashlight in order to approach to the nest tree. Once there Pak Uduk make a small fire to avoid mosquitos and keep us warm.The orangutan still sleeping in the nest and at 6am as the day brightened she woke and started to move through the rubber trees.

Once she hang on short branch, Uduk blew the pipe and finally the dart needle penetrated her right foot. She still moving and still strong after around 5 minutes.  As Blek tried a second dart needle which successfully penetrated on her left thigh. Two minutes later, the orangutan fell.

I give her an examination and she seems healthy. Based from the pattern of teeth she is about 12-15 years age and her body weight was 27.4 Kg.

We finally transported her to Pangkalan Bun where she will be released in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

I thankyou for all support to this rescue, Orangutan Foundation team, BKSDA SKW II Kalteng and also PT GAP for all facilitations and support.

Dr Wawan - Orangutan Foundation Vet


Another wild adult male orangutan rescued

Our Orangutan Veterinary and Rescue Team managed to rescue another wild orangutan yesterday from the village of  Pendulangan, which is close to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia Borneo.

We were already aware of the presence of the adult male orangutan because the village had seen it hanging around, stealing fruit from their trees and on one occasion it even wandered into the village's kindergarten.  Fortunately, we have a good relationship with the village and we worked with them to try to live side by side with the orangutan. However, it became clear the orangutan was becoming more troublesome and the villagers could no longer tolerate the situation.

The orangutan proved tricky to capture as he climbed up into the tree tops. It was made more complicated because he was so close to the village - we had to avoid injury to both ape and humans.  Eventually, he was darted and after being weighed he was taken directly to the offices of BKSDA. Our vet, Dr Fikri, is examining him today and all being well hopefully he can be translocated to the Reserve in the next day or so.

We will keep you updated on his progress.

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

It’s Orangutan Awareness Week! Show your support by becoming a member or by making a donation.





More orangutans need rescuing

We are sad to report that the pregnant female orangutan, who had been chained up by her foot, has not survived. Worryingly, the same plantation have another 20 to 30 orangutans in need of rescue. See earlier blog Worrying trend - another orangutan rescued.

The orangutan's forest habitat should not have been cleared in the first place - they are an endangered species and protected by law. If clearing goes ahead a large enough area for the orangutans to live in should have been set aside. However, it seems there is only remnant forest surrounded by oil palm and with villages close by. The orangutans have no where to go.
We are in discussion with BKSDA (The Government Agency for Natural Resources) to find the best possible solution.  We have a rescue team in the field and we will do our utmost to save these orangutans. Rescues and translocations are costly in terms of staff time, logisitics and veterinary equipment and also the follow up care involved and not to mention ongoing habitat protection. Please support our crucial work.  You can donate via our secure online shop or via justgiving or by calling 0044(0)20 7724 2912.
More to follow soon.
Thank you.

Two adult male Bornean orangutans rescued in one week

Since January we have been receiving an increasing number of requests to rescue wild orangutans and move them to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.  Within the last week we have rescued 2 adult male orangutans. These rescues not only demand extra staff time but are expensive and present a challenge especially at a time when we are having to make major cut backs in the UK and some in the field.

The first orangutan was reported in a community-owned plantation in Mendawai Seberang.  The owner said that the orangutan who was wandering round his plantation was a male. The Foundation team visited the plantation, which is a mixture of rubber, pineapple and oil palm.

Mixed Crop Plantation - the dominant vegetation is rubber and pineapple

In the rubber trees old and new orangutan nests were seen.

Orangutan nests found in the rubber trees

There was also the visible remnants of crop damage for example pineapple fruits that had been eaten by the orangutan. After a few hours of trying to find the orangutans, the team gave up.

Pineapple Fruit eaten by orangutan

About 5 days later the plantation owner telephoned us again because the orangutan was still causing damage to his crops.  Our team left for the plantation immediately and found the large adult male.


Orangutan in tree

Dr Fikri, our vet began preparing the anesthesia which he  administered by using a blowpipe, which was generously funded by Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild.

Drug Preparation

The orangutan was successfully darted first time.

Photos above: orangutan has been sedated

Weighing  and medical examination of orangutan

Orangutan in the Cage

After conducting health checks to ensure that no injury had occurred he was put into the cage. All rescued animals must be taken to the BKSDA (wildlife department) office.

Orangutan taken from the Plantation

Orangutan transfer to kelotok 

Orangutan at the BKSDA Office

The orangutan stayed overnight at BKSDA and the next day was taken to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

Orangutan in Move to Kelotok

Last Friday, 11th May, the male was released into the Reserve. This involved having to transfer the 65 kg orangutan from the pick-up truck into a Kelotok (motorised canoe).  The river levels in the reserve were extremely low so it was decided that the orangutan should be released from the canoe rather than trying to lift the cage out and carrying to the forest.  As soon as the cage was opened the wild orangutan climbed straight out and up into the tree and moved off into the forest.

Orangutan in tree

Orangutan free in the trees

The second rescue occurred 2 days ago from an oil palm plantation near the village of Amin Jaya. It was another adult male, about 15 years old.  More details and photos to follow shortly.

Thank you for your continued support and thank you Carol Ritchie for you lovely email!

Orangutan Foundation








Photo 23. Orangutan From the BKSDA Office to the Karang Anyar

Photo 24. Orangutan in Move to Kelotok

Photo 25. Orangutan in Release I

Photo 26. Orangutan in Release II

Photo 27. Orangutan in the Trees I

Photo 28. Orangutan in the Trees II

Sunda clouded leopard cub rescued

On Saturday April 28, we received information from our partners, Yayorin, that there was a baby Bornean clouded leopard,  or Sunda clouded leopard as it is now known (Neofelis diardi), which had been hit by a car in the village of Bayat, district of Belantikan Raya, Lamandau regency in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

The Orangutan Foundation team left the port town of Pangkalan Bun late morning and arrived at the village of Bayat four hours later. After some discussion with the villagers we saw the leopard cub which was being stored in a cardboard box and was silent and motionless.

 Dr Fikri, the Orangutan Foundation's vet, examining the cub being held by villagers

Information obtained from the villagers was that leopard cub was found at night on the road leading to the iron ore mining site.  They saw the mother clouded leopard walking across the road carrying her cub in her mouth.  When the iron ore vehicles passed they must have startled the mother who dropped her cub and ran away.  It is thought that the vehicle hit the cub, though very lightly.  The iron ore mining vehicles were heading to the port of Pangkalan Bun.

The people of Bayat village had been looking after the cub for 2 days before we arrived.

Orangutan Foundation vet with the cub

Baby clouded leopard weak and silent

Cub not able to walk


The good news is that the cub is progressing well and is in pretty good health. Initially it was always unsteady when standing and its walking wasn’t normal.  It had problems with both hind legs. This pain seems to have now gone and its walking is normal and sometimes it even climbs the wall of its cage.

Cub alert and seems healthy


It is eating and drinking. Its current weight is ± 2 Kg. Looking at the husbandry manual on the Clouded Leopard Project website this suggests its age may be between 60 and 90 days old.  It is still very early days for the cub.  More news to follow soon...

Thank you

Orangutan Foundation

Please consider a donation to support our work by visiting our website or bid on a Gary Hodge's print that is being auction in aid of the Foundation. Thank you!


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)

Conservation in unprotected areas -reply to comments

Thank you to everyone who has recently left comments, especially about Brian and Rosa’s release – they do mean a lot to our staff (Rosa, lovely to hear from you and of course the orangutan Rosa was named after you. Rosa was our vet who previously work at the orangutan care centre). I’d like to respond to Louis McCarten, who left a comment about Belantikan’s protection - 'I think it is time to press the Indonesian government to provide actual legal protection to the Belantikan rain forest. And quickly. I do not see a future for the biodiversity here if this is not attempted (and financed). Why not a Belantikan National Park? Better that than a Belantikan alan alang wasteland (or yet another oil palm plantation the world doesn’t need–which of course is what is the world is going to get if we don’t do something to save the Belantikan). 

Your point about Belantikan needing protection is entirely reasonable and this is why we are working in this area. Belantikan has the world’s largest population of orangutans outside of a protected area and it is important for many other ecological reasons.  However, the situation in Belantikan it isn’t black and white - there are many factors to consider when deciding how best to protect a high conservation value forest area. Designating the forests as a national park isn’t the answer either. We must deal with the reasons behind deforestation otherwise they will persist despite the change in land status, as we have witnessed in other Indonesian national parks.  

A lot of the land is community owned, adat and so rightfully it is the local people who make the decisions about their land.  The logging concessions are legal and still have many years left before they expire. However, rather than seeing these as only negative factors we need to find a way to work together.   

A co-operative management approach, where all the stakeholders (local communities, logging concessions, government) are recognised, have a voice and are taken notice of is one of our aims. The Belantikan Conservation Programme, funded by the United Nations Environment Programme – Great Ape Survival Partnership, began in 2005 and it is attempting to engage and work with all the stakeholders of Belantikan.   

One of our objectives is to see more of the area designated as protected forests (not national park) therefore maintaining key ecosystem functions, such as watersheds.  We are also helping the local communities, who are highly dependent on the forests, to earn a living that is ecologically and economically viable.  The communities have to make vital decisions about their land (whether to sell to oil palm companies, lease to timber concessions, how to farm it) and through increased education and awareness we can help them to understand the future implications of their decisions.

It is terribly depressing that you have to drive for 6 hours through uninterrupted oil palm plantations before you reach the forests and it is upsetting to think of all the wildlife that has been lost.  Our work in Belantikan is still in it infancy and we are working to set strong foundations for what we hope will be a future for these forests, its village communities and the wildlife. However, the ultimately responsibility lies with the Indonesian government and it will be to their detriment, as well as everybody else’s, if they fail to make the right choices. 

Thank you,

Cathy - Orangutan Foundation (UK office)

Male Bornean Orangutan Rescued

Orangutan Awareness and Orangutan Freedom On Wednesday 11 November 2009, the rescue team from Section II Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan and Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ-OFI) rescued one big male orangutan from Tanjung Putri, a local village. The orangutan was 183 cms tall, weighed approx 80 kg and was about 20 years old.  Mr. Eko Novi (The head of section II of the  Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan) gave him the name “Jejawi”.

 translocation male Bornean orangutan

Jejawi being transferred to the speedboat

Translocation Bornean male orangutan

Orangutan is transferred by speedboat.

 Translocation male Bornean orangutan

 translocation male Bornean orangutan

 translocation male Bornean orangutan

Mr. Eko Novi coordinated with Tigor, the Reintroduction Manager of Orangutan Foundation, for the translocation process. After medical observation by Dr Popo (OCCQ-OFI Vet) and Dr Fiqri (Lamandau Vet of Orangutan Foundation), on Friday 13th , Jejawi (the orangutan) was successfully translocated to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, the same place where Bruno, the sun bear, was released.

Translocation of male Bornean orangutan

Mr. Eko Novi said this is a good moment to participate in Pekan Peduli Orangutan (Orangutan Awareness Week) with real action to help the orangutan to get a new life in safe habitat.  

Translocation male Bornean orangutan

When the door of the transporter cage was opened, Jejawi immediately move out from the cage, he looked around for a second and then with fantastic speed, moved and reached the branch, he climbed the trees, and then moved to other trees, climbing until reaching the canopy.  We hope Jejawi is now free for a better and safer life in the Lamandau reserve.

Translocation male Bornean orangutan

 Translocation male Bornean orangutan

 Translocation male Bornean orangutan

Back in the trees, hard to see - as orangutans should be! 

The Orangutan translocation story was already published in Metro TV (the Indonesian television station) for News Program, and published in Borneo News (Central Kalimantan news paper) to encourage orangutan conservation awareness.

Thank you,

Hudi WD

Programme Coordinator

Please support our 'Protect Me and My Tree Appeal' - keep these orangutans in forest where they deserve to be.

Orangutan Awareness in Borneo - ‘planting trees for the future’

Togu Simorangkir, director of Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia), our local partners, sent through some photo’s of their Orangutan Awareness Week activities.  Yayorin's theme for Orangutan Awareness Week 2009 is ‘Planting trees for the future’. They are targeting villages surrounding areas of orangutan habitat.

 Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia -school campaign

School Presentation - photo © Yayorin

Their school campaign involves presentations, mobile library, film show, quiz and games.

 Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia - school campaign

 Quiz and games - photo © Yayorin

Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia - Mobile library

Mobile library - photo © Yayorin

At the community level they have organised an exhibition, puppet show and film show. 

 Yayasan Oangutan Indonesia - Village campaign

Film show - photo © Yayorin

 Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia - Puppet show

 Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia - puppet show

Puppet show - photo © Yayorin

On Sunday 15 November, Yayorin we will be planting trees in Tanjung Putri village and in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve buffer zone. In total about 1500 trees will be planted by students and communities. 

 Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia - tree seedlings

Seedlings to be planted - photo © Yayorin

Yayorin will also be promoting “cheap in your own land” - a campaign to change the slash and burn agriculture method to sustainable permanent agriculture. 

 Yayorin OAW 2009 badge

Yayorin's Orangutan Awareness Week 2009 badge 'planting trees for the future', which they produce and give away for free.

We'll post about what we've been up to in the UK tomorrow, Orange for Orangutan Day - go on, go orange and support our work, it's not too late!



Orangutan Foundation - UK office

Promoting Forests at Sukamara Fair, Indonesian Borneo

From the 17th to 24th October 2009, our EC-Lamandau Programme, together with the Environment Office of Sukamara (town on the Western side of Lamandau reserve), has been participating in the Sukamara Fair 2009. Our EC-Lamandau exhibition booth really stood out. It was a cheerful display with a drawing and coloring competition for children from the ages of 5 to 11 years old. 

 Children at Sukamara Fair

Children joining in at the EC-Lamandau stand at the Sukamara Fair

We had an enthusiastic response when the orangutan and deer mascots suddenly arrived. Both mascots told stories about their life in the forest and a lively conversation arose between the mascots and the visitors, including kids! At least 600 stickers and 200 Sumpitan bulletins (local magazine published by Yayorin) were distributed to exhibition visitors and for three evenings, films on conservation education were screened.

The progamme, also called the Lamandau Ecosystem Conservation Partnership (LECP) is funded by the European Commission to maintain functioning tropical forest ecosystems in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, which support sustainable rural development. The Partnership comprises the Conservation of Nature Resources Agency of Central Borneo (BKSDA), Yayorin and the Orangutan Foundation. 

  Hope Leaves  - Sukamara Fair 

 Leaves of Hope writen by exhibition visitors

The Head of Sukamara Regency, Ahmad Dirman listened to a brief explanation about our forest protection and community outreach work that has been implemented by Orangutan Foundation and Yayorin. He also wrote on a ‘leaf of hope’ which was hung on a branch in the exhibition.

Sukamara fair

 Ahmad Dirman encouraged the people of Sukamara to support any institutions that work on forest and environment conservation. He proudly accepted a framed orangutan photo (by Brian Matthews who was awarded highly commended in BBC wildlife photographer of the year 2009) brought from London by Ashley Leiman, the Orangutan Foundation Director. 

Thank you for your interest,

Astri - Liaison Officer

Sumatran Orangutan Footage

Please follow this link to view a short piece on the Sumatran orangutans, with a focus on the Tripa Swamps, Aceh, Sumatra that appeared in Times.com. http://www.time.com/time/audioslide/0,32187,1926657,00.html

Orangutan Foundation Volunteer Programme

You're probably aware that the Orangutan Foundation runs a Volunteer Programme (see Categories for past posts)  This year's programme has been different in that we are working closely with our partners Yayorin on a water purification project in the Belantikan Arut region of Central Kalimantan. Belantikan is home to the largest remaning population of orangutans in an unprotected area and is a biodiversity hotspot. 

Our strategy involves community empowerment, education and agricultural management to help villagers protect their forests. This year’s Volunteer Programme fits in by working with the local communities and further improving our relationship with them, whilst gaining their respect and providing villagers with a cleaner, safer water-source.  Each team will work in a different village. At each village, a natural spring has been identified as an alternative source to the river which is currently used for transport, bathing, washing and as a toilet. The teams build a dam to harness the spring water and then a pipe system takes it down to the village.

Volunteers return to camp after a hard days work

Climbing back up to the jetty after a hard days work 

Team 1 ended on 13th June and the village of Nanga Matu (home to Yayorin’s basecamp) now has taps providing clean water from a natural hillside spring on the other side of the river. The construction was no mean feat and massive thanks go to the hardworking volunteers and Volunteer Co-ordinators who made the project succeed.   Team 2 is already well into their work in the village of Bintang Mengalih and I was there to see the project commence. The team are living in a small community house where personal space is non- existent, and the movements and activities of us visitors is of most interest to the locals.

Volunteers are treated to a traditional party at one of the villages 

Volunteers are treated to a traditional party by a local village 

Whilst there, I encountered leeches, a scorpion, poisonous millipedes and lots of peat. Bathing is in a nearby river and we dug a long-drop toilet behind the accommodation. Before work began we had to go the village hall and formally meet the village head and some local villagers.

Village children keen to “hang out” with volunteers 

Local children were keen to "hang out" with the volunteers. 

The village were so appreciative of our work that they provided us with four local people to help on the project. They really were very excited and grateful about the work of Orangutan Foundation.  By 8th August Bintang Mengalih will have clean water to drink at the turn of a tap!!


Elly (UK Volunteer Co-ordinator)

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.

Compost and Forests - both important to our life cycles!

Meet Pak Roji. Pak Roji - Community Liaison and expert composter!

Pak Roji at the market

He works on the Education Team for our Lamandau Ecosystem Conservation Partnership, as our Community Liaison. Pak Roji’s passionate about all things mouldy, and organic!

He’s our compost expert, with a background in chemistry, and at least a decade of farming experience in Java. He currently works with the farmers collectives in four villages by the Western boundary of the Lamandau Reserve, to help improve their crops by applying compost. Earlier in the week I visited Pak Roji in Sukamara, with the Head of our Education Team, Eddie, and our Liaison Officer, Astri, to meet up with local government officials to discuss about our plans to commence a compost project in the town.

Eddie -Head of Education Team

Eddie rescues some seedlings that would have been burnt along with the garbage, to be planted at our office in Sukamara.

You may wonder how compost ties into orangutan conservation – and I’d say that wildlife conservation overall is holistic: assisting local communities to find alternative sustainable livelihoods that are still culturally relevant, is vital in obtaining their continuing support for the Reserve. The sandy soils that these farmers work on are nutritionally-poor, and organic composts help increase the yield of crops, while decreasing pressure on the local dump-site. Working one on one with farmers at the Western boundary of the Reserve have yielded small successes, and we hope to see this grow.

So far, the response has been encouraging, and we have received a lot of comments and advice from respective government officers from various fields. Our hopes for this project is that it is community-driven, with farmers benefitting from the harvest.

Eddie and village head discussing land options

Eddie, our Education Team Leader, discusses land options with the Village Head of Natai Sedawak, Pak Nadi

We also met up with the village head from Natai Sedawak, to discuss possibilities on where the compost project could take place. He took us to various sites, including the local garbage dump that reminded us why this project is crucial!

Astri - Liaison Officer

Astri, our Liaison Officer, demonstrates the height of the garbage pile

I believe everybody in his or her lifetime, needs to visit their local dumpsite and understand how our daily consumption affects the rest of the community, and the world.

Pak Roji at work

Pak Roji hard at work!

I’ll keep you in touch on how this project develops over time, but rest assured, Pak Roji continues to churn the soil to keep all organic waste wonderful and mouldy!



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



Saving orangutans in Indonesia

Orangutan Foundation and Yayorin recently hosted Jason Houston and William deBuys, photographer and writer for the conservation organisation RARE and below is a blog about their visit to Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Kampung Konservasi and the surrounding village communities. http://www.rareconservation.org/blog/

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

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.


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.


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.


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”.


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

Double Our Funds For Orangutans

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, a philanthropist organisation, The Reed Foundation, has promised to double any donations made to five different wildlife charities through its charity website www.theBigGive.org.uk. The Orangutan Foundation is delighted to be one of the chosen charities and donations will go towards our project 'Protecting Orangutans and Rainforest Biodiversity Through Carbon Markets' in the Belantikan Arut region of Central Kalimantan. On Monday 23rd February at 10am The Big Give will start doubling donations of £5 or more and they will finish when £50,000 has been spent. Please be as generous as possible on the 23rd February, when every donation can go twice as far to achieve our aims in the Belantikan Arut region of Central Kalimantan

Put a note in your diary or an alert on your mobile and just before 10am have your bankcard at hand and simply visit www.thebiggive.co.uk. There will be a 'Darwin's Natural Selection' link in the matched funding area of the Big Give.

The money will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so it is important that you make your donations as soon as possible after the launch of the scheme. The last time The Big Give ran a scheme of this nature, they gave away one million pounds in 45 minutes!

Thank you!!

Kampung Konservasi January Blog - Sustainable livelihoods for communities living close to areas of orangutan habitat.

FISH HARVEST One of the alternative income-generating activities that Kampung Konservasi offers the local communities is low-impact fish farming. On Kampung Konservasi ground, we have three very simple fish ponds, which are – literally – just “big holes” on the ground.

Fishpond - Kampung Konservasi

Fishpond 2 - Kampung Konservasi

Fishpond 3 - Kampung Konservasi

The three different styles of simple fishponds demonstrated by Kampung Konservasi.

Because our ground is naturally “wet” (mostly peat swamp), we do not have to do much to regulate the water flows. We just worked with the land contour and designed our ponds so that they are as low maintenance as possible. This way, local farmers can easily duplicate our methods and feel interested to try because it does not require much commitment from their part. To fortify the walls, we used simple materials such as bamboos, sand bags and polybags filled with vegetable seedlings.

We then put two species of fish in our ponds: one is nila, a consumption fish species that originally came from Africa but has become very common all over the world; another one is patin, a local Kalimantan species that has also become a very common consumption fish species. Both have been doing very well in our ponds, although our patin grow a little better and faster in semi-peat swamp water.

Fish harvesting

Encouraging community participation and the uptake of this low-impact fish farming.

Patin - common species of fish found in Kalimantan.

Patin - common species of fish found in Kalimantan, Borneo

Just recently Kampung Konservasi decided to empty its fish ponds because we wanted to fix the walls. We did not expect that there will be so much fish! In only this one harvest, we managed to sell 56 kilograms of fish to the local housewives and restaurants. In 2008 alone, our alternative fish farm produced more than 200 kilograms of fish and sold well in the local market. Once again, Kampung Konservasi have proven to the local communities that fish farming is another potential income-generating activity for this area.


Sally (Yayorin)