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.

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