The Foundation frequently receives e-mails from budding conservationists and passionate supporters displaying their frustration over not being able to visit Indonesia or join our summer volunteer programmes. This is one of the reasons we were so excited to take part in Rainforest: Live. If you are one of many who are unable to join us out in the field to experience the many wonders of Indonesian Borneo first-hand, we now invite you into this world through the lens of a camera. Thanks to the astoundingly connected world we live in, we’re able to take you inside Indonesia’s rainforests, to live amongst the trees and the tropics, and to catch a glimpse of some of its most elusive inhabitants. Live the life of a Foundation patrol: roam the forest in search of an orangutan sighting; get up close and personal with some of Indonesia’s most beautiful and fascinating plant life ; watch our live camera traps from within the exceptionally rich and biodiverse Belantikan Hulu region.
You can do all of this from the comfort of your own home – thanks to Rainforest: Live, you will receive updates on all of your favourite animals, without the hot and humid tropical air, the smell of exotic droppings, or the tickling sensation of some uninvited insect working its way up your arm. (That said - those experiences are all part of the fun!) By simply joining us on Facebook and Twitter for the day, you’ll get the chance to experience the forests of Borneo just as the endangered orangutan does.
[Below are photos taken in Spring 2014 by our camera traps set up in the Belantikan Hulu region; Top Left: A clouded leopard by nightfall; Top Right: A female orangutan climbing trees with her offspring; Bottom Left: A sun bear with her young; Bottom Right: A solitary red langur monkey]
Join the Orangutan Foundation on June 19th for a 24-hour sneak peek into life in the rainforest!
June 19th #rainforestlive
[Rainforest: Live 2015 logo designed by @BethAucott]
The growing relationship between technology and conservation is one that seems to play an increasingly important role. The ease with which we can have instant contact with our staff in the field enables us to have up-to-the-minute knowledge of our work on the ground like never before. The ability to connect with one’s supporters directly, wherever they live around the world, is also an incredible luxury. It allows conservation organisations to see first-hand how much support they have and to thank their dedicated ambassadors every step of the way. Moreover, the unbridled nature of social media helps us all to extend awareness for important issues and campaigns far beyond our usual reach. Here in the UK office, receiving news from our field sites in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and Tanjung Puting National Park (both in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia), is often the best part of our day. To see photographs of rescued orangutans receiving the veterinary care they need provides unparalleled motivation to raise funds for such programmes. Being able to watch a video of an orangutan released back into the wild serves as great inspiration for us to continue working with the Indonesian government to protect large areas of critical habitat. When we see our Indonesian staff going to great lengths to take extraordinary photographs for the pure pleasure of it, it lets us know that we’re helping to engage the local communities with the wildlife around them.
With the use of GPS and satellite mapping, the Foundation can constantly monitor areas affected by increases in deforestation, as well as map out protected borders. This also means that when our staff rescues an orangutan, we can see immediately where they were found, as well as what region is most suitable for their release.
Thanks to advances in technology, we needn't be detached from the work we do halfway across the world; and thanks to social media, the public can always be as engaged with our conservation work as we are.
That’s why the Orangutan Foundation is thoroughly excited to be able to share these moments with you, the public, LIVE on June 19th during an annual global project called Rainforest: Live! Throughout the day the Foundation, alongside several other prominent conservation NGOs, will be posting live reports, photos, and videos directly from our Indonesian field sites all over Facebook and Twitter. This will also be a unique opportunity for you to interact and engage with the Foundation directly, asking questions, sharing posts and showing how much you care about the world’s rainforests.
Last year, OuTrop (Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project) alone saw the hash tag #rainforestlive 120,000 times. Let’s try to top that this year, spreading our love of rainforests and the life that inhabits them as far across the globe as possible!
JUNE 19TH #rainforestlive
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.
The Foundation thanks the class and teaching staff for their generous contribution.
Thank you to everyone who supported Orangutan Awareness Week and The Big Give this year.
Nick was out and about again on Sunday the 21st of September – a date that will go down in history as one of the biggest marches globally, with 40,000 people attending in London and 400,000 in New York City.
Altogether there were over 2,500 events in 166 countries – and Nick took part in London!
Campaigners were marching for global action on climate change, in one of thousands of events worldwide ahead of a UN climate summit (23 September, 2014, New York).
Nick has had many travels - which you can see here - but never has he had so much company!
More can be achieved by working together...Collaboration and partnerships are how we extend the reach of the foundation. Working with groups who have similar aims, we raise funds to support our team on the ground, funding research and education. The training courses we administer enable local people to continue to live sustainably within forest environments.
GRASP - The Great Ape Survival Partnership, working with its partners UNEP and UNESCO - comprises of the great ape range states that work together to lift the threat of imminent extinction facing apes in Africa and Southeast Asia. The Orangutan Foundation is on the GRASP Executive Committee.
The Ape Alliance is an international coalition of organisations and individuals working for the conservation and welfare of apes. The Foundation is a founding member of the Alliance. Here Sir David Attenborough, Dr Jane Goodall and other speak in a panel discussion with Ape Alliance Chair and Foundation Trustee, Ian Redmond OBE at Ape Alliance's 'Hope for Apes' evening in 2010 at the Lyceum Theatre
Both these groups provide a forum for discussion, campaign for public awareness and help information exchange between groups, including the coordination of events. The Orangutan Foundation works with these groups to ensure our experience of working for forest protection over 24 years has the maximum effect across the globe.
Yayorin - Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Indonesian Orangutan Foundation) — is our partner organisation. Our work with Yayorin contributes on their Education and Awareness Programme, supporting and promoting their projects. This has included helping with Kampung Konservasi, the conservation village that provides a learning centre for the local community, teaching sustainable agricultural techniques.
We also collaborate with Yaryorin on research in Belantikan (click here to learn more) — a remote forest that is home to the world's largest population of orangutans in an unprotected area. We’ve mentioned the work of the Mobile Education and Library unit previously (click here) – another project Yayorin run with our support.
The Foundation and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry work together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This is vitally important for our ongoing work in Indonesia and all our efforts in collaboration with the Ministry, which now spans over ten years.
These relationships allow development and new achievements. Together, we can plan for the future and take our own roles in leading proactive work plans, safeguarding wild habitat and promoting the protection of the great apes. We thank all our friends and partners who work with us. Achievements so far have made a big difference, so these groups are have laid good foundations to continue with fantastic projects for great ape conservation. To keep up to date with our work and our friends - sign up to our Email Updates by clicking here!
Exciting times are coming up! Although November seems far away, time goes quickly... So when is Orangutan Awareness Week 2014?!
This year's Orangutan Awareness Week will be held 10th-16th of November, with ORANGE DAY on the 12th (the Wednesday - as always).
We are already sending schools materials and the orange costumes are getting an Autumn clean. Our ambassadors are putting up posters and we really can't wait to see everyone's efforts in 2014 to help save orangutans.
It is important to dedicate a week to raising awareness and raising funds. It is a time where all and any communities can come together and do small and big things to support the safeguarding of Indonesian Bornean habitat. All funds raised will go towards the conservation of orangutans in critical orangutan habitat. Our work prioritises conservation of standing forests and local capacity building to ensure orangutans and amazingly diverse habitat are protected into the future. See some ideas and stories of our Awareness Weeks here!
We'll be collecting all the photos of YOU, fun-loving public having a good time for orangutans, so please stay in touch - see all the fun on facebook too!
Be orange, be daring, have fun, and swing towards helping...
A Future for Orangutans, Forests and People
The Foundation are collaborating with conservationists to give a 24-hour window into wildlife of remote rainforests, using facebook and twitter! On 2 June 2014 conservationists are coming together to share 24 hours of wildlife sightings from rainforest locations across Southeast Asia. The Foundation were asked to take part and are excited to see what we can see from so many fabulous locations across the working world of biodiversity.
'Rainforest: Live' will take advantage of social media, using the spread of technology to allow everyone to see and learn about even some of the most remote corners of the globe.
Photos, videos and wildlife sightings will all be shared live. The 11 respective rainforest field sites will all use the hashtag #rainforestlive. Do ask us or any of the organisations questions using the hashtag!
Ashley Leiman, OBE, Director of the Orangutan Foundation, said “this collaboration brings home that deforestation effects not only the wildlife, but is the third largest cause of green house gas emissions and so effects everyone on the planet. Days such as this highlight how much researchers are learning, with a view to achieving more conservation successes on the ground.”
Matt Williams, Communications Manager for OuTrop said “If people in Southeast Asia and across the world are reminded of this incredible natural gift, then we have a better chance of saving tropical rainforests everywhere. Rainforest: Live is an unprecedented event bringing live sightings straight from the jungle. Members of the public can take part by using the #rainforestlive hashtag to ask questions they’ve always wondered about to rainforest experts.”
“We’re excited to participate in this event,” says Dr. Cheryl Knott, Executive Director of the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project, “as Rainforest: Live will provide an exciting ‘virtual experience’ for the pubic – a way to simultaneously travel to rainforests throughout Southeast Asia and experience the regions’ incredible biodiversity.”
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."