Emergency Fire Fund — BORNEO IS BURNING!


It's fire season again and Borneo is burning. Palm oil companies, farmers and small land holders are setting fires that are burning out of control. Many of the fires are perilously close to the orangutan rescue centers and research areas.

BOS Nyaru Menteng is enveloped in smoke and haze, creating hazardous conditions for the orangutans and the staff. Thankfully the orangutans are safe— but the air quality is so bad from the smoke and haze that Forest School is closed and the babies are being kept indoors. Staff at BOS Nyaru Menteng, Mawas, and Samboja Lestari have already begun to take action in the form of increased patrolling and coordination with the government, and the preparation of water sources and firefighting equipment.

IAR Ketapang is also blanketed in haze and the IAR fire team is working with local government authorities to fight deadly blazes a few hundred meters away from the care center. IN 2015 catastrophic fires caused the number of rescued orangutans to increase by three times...

The staff at the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) research station, based in Sebangau Forest, is fighting desperately to put out fires in the peat forests. If these fires get out of control they could decimate the wild orangutans living there...

The biggest challenge the fire prevention teams face is making sure the Indonesian peat forests don't catch fire, because once peat fires start burning, they are almost impossible to extinguish. When this happens countless animals perish and devastating smoke and haze spread across the region. They need to be making regular patrols in high-risk areas and when they are confronted with flare-ups, they need to be equipped with proper equipment.

The Orangutan Outreach Emergency Fire Fund is supporting BOSF, IAR and BNF. Alongside local communities and government officials, the teams are working around the clock to put out fires as well as patrolling forests and peat swamps in remote areas of Borneo.

Who's involved?

Orangutan Outreach (OO)
Orangutan Outreach's mission is to protect orangutans in their native habitat while providing care for orphaned and displaced orangutans until they can be returned to their natural environment. The registered 501(c)(3) New York-based non-profit raises funds and promotes public awareness of orangutan conservation issues by collaborating with partner organizations around the world. One of the key issues facing orangutans in the wild is the loss of habitat due to fire. In order to prevent and mitigate the damage from forest fires, Orangutan Outreach is supporting a network of partners in the field who are working to prevent the fires from spreading.

BOSF-logo-hi-resBorneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF)The BOS Foundation has dedicated teams working throughout their forest-based programs, orangutan reintroduction sites and long-term conservation areas in Central and East Kalimantan (Borneo). These teams are responsible for working together with local communities and other stakeholders on early detection and suppression of fire outbreaks and outreach education and awareness locally to change land-clearing practices through the use of fire. Together with local people their teams are actively fighting fires and implementing the strategies needed to significantly reduce negative environmental impacts within orangutan habitat. Funds are desperately needed to buy the equipment and support the teams undertaking this critical activity.

iar-logo-globeInternational Animal Rescue (Yayasan IAR)Fire-prevention and animal rescue teams from IAR conduct fire-fighting training workshops with local villagers based in and around Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Funds are needed to scale up the workshops so villagers in more remote regions can be trained to prevent forest fires. The patrol units are also trained to confront wildlife poachers and are on the lookout for orangutans in need of medical help or relocation to safer areas of forest. IAR has also implemented the use of drone technology to discover and monitor fire hotspots and needs funds to develop programs in conjunction with local authorities. Working with government, their goal is to be able to locate and address fires in remote locations without delay and be able to better utilize limited human resources to be as effective as possible in the field.

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF)The Borneo Nature Foundation supports community fire-prevention and anti-poaching teams that protect the Sebangau Forest – home to the largest population of wild orangutans in the world. These teams are coordinated by CIMTROP, an NGO based at the University of Palangkaraya, whose main priority is to train and equip teams from local villages to prevent fires and effectively deal with them when they occur. Funds are needed to provide and maintain essential equipment for the fire-fighting and patrol teams, to undertake training sessions in fire-prevention and fire-fighting with local villages, and to mobilize teams to identify and extinguish peat fires during the dry season. BNF and CIMTROP also have teams of local villagers working to rehabilitate damaged peatlands to prevent fires. They do this by building dams on illegal-logging canals in order to prevent the peat swamps from drying out, and by planting fire-resistant trees and bushes in degraded areas and the forest margins. Drained peatlands are extremely susceptible to fires that are very difficult to extinguish – therefore fire prevention is the best cure to prevent haze in the long-term.

Please make a donation to the Emergency Fire Fund!

Thank you for your support! {:(|}

Donations will help pay for staff, equipment, medical supplies and fire-fighting gear. The situation is critical! Thank you for your support! {:(|}

Suggested donations:
US $10.00: Daily wage for a fire-fighter
US $25.00: Gear for fire-fighters: gloves, goggles, eye drops, masks, isotonic drinks, vitamin packs
US $50.00: Reforestation: 10 tropical hardwood saplings
US $100.00: Build a dam to block the ex-logging canals in the peat forests
US $500.00: Equip a fire-fighting team with hoses, nozzles and safety equipment


Donations made via these PayPal buttons will be earmarked for our 'Fire Fund'.

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BOS Foundation Fire Fighting Teams — Photos © BOSF 2019

IAR Fire Fighting Teams — Photos © IAR 2019

Photo © 2019 BOSF Indrayana