Month: September 2017

Denovo Designs on fundraising for the Orangutans

It was just your average, saucepan-grey, autumn weekend.

The Denovo Design architectural crew had downed pencils and dispersed across Liverpool City Centre (and surrounding areas!), and were chilling with friends and families after a busy working week. Nothing unusual there, except something happened that was to create a spark – a call to action.

Denovo’s PA, Lynda Smith, was on the Wirral on a particularly drizzly Sunday in October 2015 – browsing Twitter, the same time as, across the water in Liverpool, her workmate, Architect, Nicola Toomey, was having a quick catch-up on her Facebook account. They didn’t know it at the time but, simultaneously, they both saw the same image, and it moved them.

The image was of two charity support workers – one carrying an obviously distressed orangutan on his back. There weren’t many words, but the powerful image alone conveyed so much – of pain, of suffering and compassion – but also of hope, of people trying to help.

This image, along with many others, had gone viral, epitomising the crisis that was taking place at the time (and which is ongoing).

Indonesia was ablaze. And, forest fires, (often allegedly started in a programme of ‘slash and burn’ to clear the forests for the production of highly profitable *palm oil*), were decimating the natural habitat of this wonderful species – the world’s most intelligent animal apart from man. Orangutans share 97% of our DNA.

“…the situation as far as orang-utans and rainforests are concerned is critical. The ever increasing demand in developed countries for palm oil and timber is decimating the rainforests of Borneo, and consequently its orang-utan population as well. If nothing is done to halt this devastation, the orang-utan could be facing extinction in the wild within the next 10 years”

Back on Merseyside, Lynda and Nicola’s associated families and friends reacted, moved by the poignant image. But it seemed a hopeless scenario. They said: “It was impossible to address… it was too far away, too political, too big a task”.

Monday morning came, and, thousands of miles away from the scorching Indonesian terrain, amidst the urban hubbub of Liverpool’s Ropewalks Area, in the tiny Wood Street kitchen at Denovo Design’s Architectural Practice, the team gathered. After a quick catch-up, and in less time than it takes to boil a kettle, the ‘hopeless task’ in Borneo was put on the agenda for the next staff meeting.

Denovo Design staff voted in the Orangutan Protection Foundation as their nominated charity for 2016.

And the rest is history.

The team all knew that they might only be able to make only a small difference, but were are going to give it their best shot!

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples” Mother Teresa


The Denovo crew firstly took to their social media channels and connected to OPF. This enabled them to support the charity with Likes, Retweets, Shares, etc, and to generally help to spread awareness.

A large ginger ‘Cuddly’ soon arrived from OPF. Intended to front any fundraising campaigns throughout the year, he also provided an immediate opportunity to start the ball rolling. A competition was set up on ‘Just Giving’ inviting people to suggest names for the plush orangutan for a small donation.

The Daddy orangutan was swiftly named ‘Tango’, and had started earning his keep! This competition raised £120!

The practice hosted various cake sales etc throughout the year, but by far the most successful fundraiser was an auction of art/artefacts and experiences, which took place in September 2016, being aptly named ‘OrangeAid’.


Holding the event on the top floor of the View Two art gallery, (now sadly closed), in Liverpool’s Mathew Street, meant that the right atmosphere was created right from the start. Bidders were treated to the 3 floors of art for sale in the gallery, and, by the time they had reached the auction itself on the top floor, they were definitely in the mood!

The auction pieces were sourced locally from a wide range of Liverpool artists and donators, many of whom gifted Beatles themed pieces, including a yellow submarine collage, and tickets for the Beatles Story Experience.

Using social media enabled Denovo to cast its fundraising net further afield, and resulted in many diverse donations from across UK, ranging from unique ‘nail art’ to beeswax candles and china plate art! Throughout the 3 month planning period, online relationships continued to develop, increasing coverage and support for the event. Kim Cattrall, (of Sex and the City fame), was linked to one of the artists and kindly retweeted the event to her 217,000 followers. TV Presenter, Michaela Strachan, herself an avid supporter of the orangutan cause, donated signed books and photos.

Companies such as the Body Shop, Brew Dog and local restaurants were also approached, donating their services/products for the auction, and making the overall offering more diverse. It was realised from the outset that a charismatic auctioneer would be key to the success of the event, and Denovo Design was fortunate to secure the services of BBC ‘Flog It’/’Dickenson’s Real Deal’ auctioneer, Adam Partridge. Adam was also able to provide some top tips to ensure that the event ran as smoothly as possible, for example the use of an online bidding platform to widen reach, the registration of guests, and issue of bidding numbers. A raffle for appropriately named, ‘Monkey Gin’, got the evening off to a fine start, raising over £100 before the main event, and by the time the auction began at 7.30pm, the bidders were in the mood for spending!

A total of just under £3,000 was raised in under 2 hours – not a bad night’s work Undoubtedly, securing Adam Partridge, as auctioneer, helped to ensure the event’s success! Also key was sourcing over 52 diverse auction items from generous artists/donators, not only from Liverpool and the North West, but also from across the UK and even internationally! A star item was Lot No 50, a signed limited edition Beatles poster from the late Tony Booth, Brian Epstein’s original ‘poster boy’, which attracted much interest on the run up to the event.

It was a night to remember and we share this story in the hopes that others will be inspired to do something memorable for the Orangutans too.

Article provided by Lynda Smith, Denovo Design.

Posted by wp67DMIYZ3C3 in Orangutan Protectors, 0 comments

BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan BKSDA Release 12 More Orangutans to BBBRNP

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, August 2, 2017: To reach our #OrangutanFreedom goals, aimed at reintroducing 100 orangutans to natural habitat this year, BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA are again collaborating to release orangutans back to the wild. Four male and eight female orangutans will be accompanied by a release team on a 10-12 hour road and river trip from Nyaru Menteng to the BBBRNP, where they will be released at predetermined locations. This will bring the total number of rehabilitated orangutans released in the BBBRNP to 59.

BOS Foundation CEO Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, said; “2017 focuses on #OrangutanFreedom, and we aim to release 100 orangutans to the forest this year. With this release, we will reach our halfway release point of fifty orangutans. We are optimistic that with the active support of our stakeholders, including the central and local government, the private sector and organizations dedicated to protecting Indonesia’s natural sources, the target is within our reach. This should not only be the BOS Foundation’s goal, but our collective goal and responsibility to preserve our forests and our wildlife. Hundreds of the orangutans under our care have already completed Forest School, and others are living on our pre-release islands, waiting for their turn to be released to the wild. Orangutans are a vital part of forest ecology. Mankind needs forests to provide clean air and water, and regulate climate, among other functions. Why are we not taking better care of the animals who manage the forests for our very own survival? The way we clear land through burning, hunting wild animals, and depleting our natural resources at such a breakneck speed – all has to stop. I would like to stress if we don’t prioritize conservation, if we don’t conserve nature, humans will not survive. It is as simple as that. We urge everyone to support our cause. Land encroachment, like we are experiencing in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, clearly shows we are not receiving the full support we need to achieve sustainable conservation. Conservation efforts and their success affect all of us, and future generations to come. We founded this organization to ensure a better future for all.”

Ir. Adib Gunawan, Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), said; “Central Kalimantan BKSDA, as an extension of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and together with community stakeholders, is responsible for safeguarding our province’s natural resources. We tirelessly embrace all parties to participate in protecting orangutans, as the pride and iconic umbrella species in Central Kalimantan. One way is to initiate formation of forums, socialization and campaigns, as well as rehabilitation and the reintroduction of orangutans in safe and protected areas and protection of wild orangutan populations. The efforts of BOS Foundation to save, rehabilitate, reintroduce orangutans in Kalimantan to protected forests and conserve wild populations are initiatives that we fully support. We must make sure our children and grandchildren will be able to live in a safe protected natural world.”

Ir. Heru Raharjo, M.P., Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBRNP) in Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan Regions, said; “Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, in cooperation with BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, has already released 47 orangutans in this area. Today, 12 more orangutans will also gain their freedom. We must keep them protected in the National Park. We continue to conduct regular monitoring missions together with the BOS Foundation team to ensure all released orangutans remain safe in our forests. Our observations thus far have ensured the safety of the orangutans, and have recorded their successful adaptation to life in the wild. I sincerely hope the orangutans released here will establish a new population of wild orangutans, to help sustain our conservation efforts.”

This release was also supported by USAID LESTARI, which has pledged to help continue orangutan release events to the BBBRNP until 2018, and the Bank Central Asia with their CSR activities, has been extremely supportive in orangutan and habitat conservation efforts undertaken by BOS Foundation.

Rosenda Chandra Kasih, USAID LESTARI’s Central Kalimantan Landscape Coordinator, said; “USAID LESTARI warmly welcomes the release conducted in cooperation with BOS Foundation with the target of returning 100 orangutans to new habitat in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Considering that the Bornean orangutan conservation status has reached the alarming ‘critically endangered’ point, it should propel us to act quickly and work in cooperation to conserve and protect orangutans and their habitat. The purpose of this cooperation is to create a new wild orangutan population. We are deeply concerned about the rampant news on how the number of orangutans in this province is rapidly decreasing. It is our collective duty to reverse this threat.”

Inge Setiawati, BCA’s Executive Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) said, “Our common misconception is that rehabilitation centers offer the best safety for orangutans. Whilst of course it is clear that the best place for wildlife is their natural habitat, the forest. Therefore, BCA strongly supports the BOS Foundation’s activities to reintroduce and conserve orangutans who have completed rehabilitation through the Forest School and pre-release system. The Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park as the current orangutan reintroduction forest is a conservation area, and this area should be safe from future exploitation.”

BOS Foundation acknowledges that successful orangutan and habitat conservation efforts are only achievable through the participation and active support from all parties: the government, and both the public and private sectors. BOS Foundation works in cooperation with the government at all levels, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Office, the Katingan Regency Office, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park office, to help safeguard Bornean orangutans and their habitat.

BOS Foundation is also supported by a number of other partners, including the Katingan Regency community; individual donors; partner organizations such as Zoos Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Environment and Energy and conservation organisations around the world. BOS Foundation is very grateful for the support and contributions offered by these parties to aid the conservation effort in Indonesia.

Posted by wp67DMIYZ3C3 in News From The Canopy, 0 comments

BOS Foundation readies 10 Orangutans for Release

Today, BOS Foundation officially commenced activities on a new, 82.84 hectare orangutan pre-release island in Wahau Sub-District, East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. The utilisation of the island has been made possible through cooperation between BOS Foundation and PT. Nusaraya Agro Sawit (PT. NAS). During this event, BOS Foundation also moves 10 orangutans from their Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Samboja Lestari (Samboja Lestari) to the island, with the purpose of preparing them for their release into the forest. 

Wahau, East Kalimantan, September 6, 2017. Once again, BOS Foundation demonstrates its commitment to collaborate with stakeholders, including corporations, in implementing actions to support orangutan and habitat conservation. This time the foundation, established in 1991, is working together with PT. NAS to acquire a 82.84 hectare conservation area in Muara Wahau, East Kutai Regency.

The conservation area will be utilised as a pre-release island for orangutans previously rehabilitated in Samboja Lestari. Orangutans have to undergo a lengthy rehabilitation process which can take up to 7-8 years before they are ready to be returned to natural habitat. The rehabilitation process starts in Nursery and progresses through different levels; similar to a school system human children complete, created to build basic skills for survival in the wild. The final stage of the process requires time spent on a natural island which provides opportunities for orangutans to live in a semi-wild forest environment, protected but able to be observed to monitor adaptation.

During this event, BOS Foundation also moves 10 orangutans from Samboja Lestari to the pre-release island to prepare them as future release candidates into the Kehje Sewen Forest in 2018.

BOS Foundation CEO, Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite explains, “We are still rehabilitating more than a hundred orangutans in Samboja Lestari ready for release. BOS Foundation needs to accelerate the rehabilitation cycle which includes pre-release and release, by setting up special conservation areas with suitable carrying capacity for orangutans. With this island we call “Juq Kehje Swen”, which means “orangutan island” in Dayak language, plus some new pre-release islands already in use in Samboja Lestari, we are confident that we can speed up the process of releasing orangutans currently cared for in our rehabilitation center.”

“However, that is only one aspect of our efforts in orangutan and habitat conservation. If forests keep being destroyed, opened and converted, wildlife such as orangutans will continue to be hunted, displaced and fragmented. And this process will continue whilst our forests continue to shrink, until all is lost and it can no longer support biodiversity, and provide environmental services, that includes environmental services for humans. Therefore, we must work together now to protect forests from damage and wildlife from extinction. Let them live in their natural state.”

Ir. Sunandar Trigunajasa N., Head of East Kalimantan BKSDA, emphasizes, “The East Kalimantan BKSDA highly appreciates the cooperation developed with BOS Foundation and other parties, such as PT. NAS. As we have often pointed out, conservation efforts for orangutans and their habitat require major cooperation involving all parties: governments, communities, civic organizations, and the private sector. This is something we need to do because of the role that orangutans play in maintaining forest quality, making them a crucial factor we must preserve. Given the increasing number of forest areas being converted, we are obliged to strongly conserve the remaining forests, whilst also rehabilitate the damaged ones. We can all play a part in safeguarding the forest and wildlife. Let us do our duty and part the best we can.”

In the utilization of this new pre-release island, BOS Foundation cooperates with PT. Nusaraya Agro Sawit (PT. NAS). to manage a forested area of 82.84 hectares in Wahau Sub-district. A survey previously carried out shows that this area contains good quality forest, isolated by river water throughout the year, no population of wild orangutans, large space to support adaptation, socialization, sufficient natural orangutan foods, and it can accommodate an estimated 40 orangutans.

Ir. Martusin Yapriadi, Director of PT. Nusantara Agro Sawit, says, “Our cooperation with a large conservation organization like BOS Foundation is a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable environmental conservation in East Kalimantan Province. We uphold the principles of sustainable environmental governance and therefore, are committed to supporting the efforts of BOS Foundation to provide habitat as the final stage for rehabilitated orangutans prior to their release into the forest. This collaboration shows that our sustainable business can work in harmony with conservation efforts. We are very excited about this partnership, and we hope that this can inspire others to work together and support sustainable conservation efforts in East Kalimantan.”

Utilization of orangutan pre-release islands in Wahau, East Kutai district is a realization of BOS Foundation’s collaboration with all stakeholders, and BOS Foundation is grateful for the support provided by the East Kalimantan BKSDA and PT. NAS who have collaborated on the implementation of this pre-release island.

Posted by wp67DMIYZ3C3 in News From The Project, 0 comments