Film: Toward Tomorrow with the Orangutan Conservancy


Environmental News: Battle Heats Up Over Turkish Energy Company’s Plans To Destroy Indonesian World Heritage Site

A consortium of environmental groups in Aceh and North Sumatra have today called on Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry and Environment to immediately reject plans to destroy a critically important region of the ‘Sumatran Tropical Rainforest Heritage – World Heritage Site’.

by Tom for the Orangutan Conservancy

As 2016 creaks to an end, battle lines are being formed to protect a large area of the Gunung Leuser National Park from construction of a future geothermal energy plant that would adversely affect orangutans and many other species that call this biodiversity corridor home.

The area in question is currently designated as a Core Area of the Gunung Leuser National Park and is supposedly protected from such wanton destruction. In order for the project to be legally permissible this status would have to be downgraded by Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Local environmental groups warn that if rezoning is granted, and the project is allowed to move forward it would have major consequences for the survival of several critically endangered species that depend on this corridor for movement and reproduction.

The Kappi region is the core of the only remaining major habitat corridor connecting the eastern and western forest block of the National Park, which is part of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage Site and part of the larger Leuser Ecosystem, a National Strategic Area further protected under Indonesian Law for its environmental function. This fact makes Aceh Governor, Zaini Abdullah’s, written request to Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry to rezone nearly 8,000 hectares of protected forest even more baffling.

Panut Hadisiswoyo, Director of the Orangutan Information Centre stated, “Previously we have seen some positive statements from Government regarding this project. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Director for Conservation, Tachrir Fathoni, in September confirmed that the Minister had received a letter from the Aceh Governor requesting the status change and told media that “from socialization and public consultation, the result was disagreement with the rezoning, so that’s that. The plan stops there,” – but now we see the company continuing with their plans and still trying to get Government support to rezone a part of a globally important World Heritage Site and turn it into a geothermal plant. We are confused and extremely concerned by the conflicting messages coming from the Ministry who are supposed to be protecting this area,” Panut stressed. “We completely oppose the rezoning request.” Continue reading »

posted by: Tom


Happy Holidays From The Orangutan Conservancy

Click anywhere on the card to see a special Holiday message from the Orangutan Conservancy.

posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Two Rescued Orangutans Return To The Wild

Once they were released, Johnny and Desi climbed up the trees nearby. Photo courtesy of International Animal Rescue.

by Shreya Dasgupta for Mongabay

It’s not every day that a wild animal, held captive for years, makes it home.

But two Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) — an eight-year-old male called Johnny and a ten-year-old female named Desi — were recently released into a Bornean rainforest, more than four years after being rescued from captivity. Both orangutans were being kept as pets before they were rescued.

Before their release, Johnny, who was rescued in 2011, and Desi, who was rescued in 2012, spent four years being rehabilitated at International Animal Rescue’s (IAR) Orangutan Conservation Centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Both had spent several years confined in a cage, so they had to learn how to climb, forage, make nests and acquire a variety of other survival skills, IAR said in a statement. But the two learned quickly, and were soon able to fend for themselves. The team then moved them the centre’s pre-release island.

This excerpt form a news article appeared in and is courtesy of and can be viewed in its entirety here.



posted by: Tom


Conservation Perspective: Indonesia’s Forests Are Key For Saving Orangutans

By Carolyn Beeler for Public Radio International PRI

When Edward Tang was a boy, he used to hunt durian fruit in the jungle near his house in western Borneo.

On expeditions into the forest, he’d often see orangutans swinging from branch to branch above his head.

Tang is 40 now, and as a conservation educator, he still spends a lot of time in the forest. But he almost never sees orangutans anymore.

“The impact of forest destruction in Indonesia has been immense,” Tang says.

The sprawling archipelago nation of Indonesia has lost about a quarter of its forests in the past 25 years.

Orangutans, which live in the wild only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, have been some of the most visible victims of that deforestation.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of PRI and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom