The BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng Program Releases 17 Orangutans
On October 13, 2013, and with the release of nine orangutans from the East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Samboja Lestari, the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation reached a significant milestone of releasing 100 orangutans into safe natural habitat. The release event was part of a series of orangutan release events which recommenced in Kalimantan in early 2012, following 11 years of being unable to release any orangutans due to the difficulties in finding safe and suitable forests as release locations. Now, through further efforts to achieve the targets stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017, the BOS Foundation’s Program at Nyaru Menteng releases another 17 orangutans. This brings our total number of released orangutans into Central Kalimantan alone, to 99 and our overall total to 117.
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, 29 November 2013. On 29 and 30 November 2013, another 17 rehabilitant orangutans depart from the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng to pre-designated release points in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. These orangutans consist of 13 female and four male orangutans, whose biographies can be reviewed in the attached ‘Orangutan Release Candidates’ document.
These orangutans are flown from Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya to Dirung Airport in Puruk Cahu. From Puruk Cahu they will continue the journey by helicopter to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Due to the number of release candidates, they will be divided into four separated flight groups. The first day sees eight orangutans flying to Bukit Batikap, and the rest will be flown on the second day.
This release event is still part of the effort to achieve the target stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017. The Action Plan was launched by the President of the Republic of Indonesia during the Climate Change Conference in Bali, 2007. It states that all eligible orangutans in rehabilitation centers should be released by 2015, and this has been validated by all levels of government, including the provincial and regency levels. During 2012, the BOS Foundation successfully released 44 orangutans in Central Kalimantan, and is planning to release a further 80-100 orangutans in 2013 and 2014 to meet the target. Since the beginning of 2013 to date, the BOS Foundation released a further 20 orangutans on Valentine’s day and 18 orangutans on the 68th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, within Central Kalimantan.
Anton Nurcahyo, Program Manager of the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng said, “We are having to increase the intensity of our orangutan conservation efforts due to the tragic events happening especially of late, specifically orangutan killings and new forest clearance by the business sector. Since August, in less than three months Nyaru Menteng has received eight orphaned young orangutans. These young orangutans have lost their mothers and now need at least seven years of rehabilitation in order to be returned successfully to the wild. We expect that many more orangutans have been illegally killed during this period, though we were never given the chance to rescue and help these individuals. Meanwhile the government has set the target for the release of all the orangutans currently in rehabilitation centers by 2015 at the latest. If the government cannot enforce the law to protect orangutans and their habitat, the target in the Orangutan Conservation Action Plan will be impossible to meet. We are also facing the urgent need to find a new suitable forest location in order to ensure orangutan releases can continue well in the future.”
While the Head of Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, Ir. Hariyadi, stated “Companies concession areas in which orangutans and High Conservation Value Forests exist, are supposed to work together with the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA) to establish a conservation and environmentally oriented plantation management plan. Companies must contribute to orangutan conservation efforts by establishing an Orangutan Rescue Task Force. The purpose is to prevent conflict between humans and wildlife, in this case conflict with orangutans within plantation areas. In establishing this plan they comply with the regulations set by the Minister of Forestry regarding Guidelines of Conflict Management between Humans and Wildlife. BKSDA will respond positively to every effort to cooperate in orangutan conservation issues within company’s concession areas to conserve all protected species. In the future, the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority will invite companies to cooperate in conservation and environmentally oriented forest and plantation management plans through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).”
Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of the BOS Foundation said, “The negative impact of the business sector should become the responsibility of the business actors themselves. The private sector, especially those which have gained profit from natural resources and caused orangutans to be displaced from their forest habitat must play a more active role in carrying out their responsibilities. Companies should run sustainable natural resource management and incorporate Best Management Practices to protect the orangutans living in their concession area. They must also be responsible of the many orphaned orangutans entering rehabilitation centers. They must carry the costs of the rehabilitation process until these orangutans can be released back into the forest. They cannot put the burden of environmental damage costs upon other parties.”
The success of orangutan conservation efforts heavily relies on the support from the concerned parties, including the government, community, and private sector. The BOS Foundation in its effort to conserve the orangutans and their habitat works together with the Indonesian Government of all levels, including the Ministry of Forestry, Central Kalimantan Provincial Government, Murung Raya Regency Government, and Central Kalimantan Natural Resources and Conservation Authority (BKSDA). On December 31, 2009, the BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan Provincial Government signed a cooperation agreement on orangutan conservation and its habitat in Central Kalimantan.
In addition to the support of the government, this release event is also supported by the whole community of Murung Raya as well as the individual donors, partner organisations, and conservation organisations across the globe who are concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia. The BOS Foundation would like to convey its gratitude for the moral, financial, and logistical support from the private sector, such as PT. Indo Muro Kencana. We reach out to the business community and ask that they follow the example of those organizations which do support conservation, and seek to live up to their environmental responsibilities to ensure conservation targets in Indonesia are achieved.
Paulina L. Ela
Mobile: +62 813 4733 7003
Monterado Fridman (Agung)
Nyaru Menteng Communications and Education Coordinator
Mobile: +62 812 509 4722
ABOUT BOS FOUNDATION
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) is an Indonesian non-profit organization based in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, which is committed to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce Borneo orangutans to their natural habitat, as well as educating local communities and increasing public awareness about the conservation of orangutans.
Established since 1991, BOSF has partnered closely with the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and are supported by international donors, as well as other organizations. BOSF is currently headed by Prof. Dr. Bungaran Saragih as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. For more information, visit www.orangutan.or.id.