Press Release: The BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng Program Releases 20 Orangutans
On December 1, 2013, the BOS Foundation program in Central Kalimantan at Nyaru Menteng released a mother-daughter pair and one female orangutan to their natural habitat in East Kalimantan. It was the first cross-province orangutan release activity by the BOS Foundation. Now, as part of the effort to meet the target stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017, the BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng releases another 20 orangutans into the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Since early 2012, the BOS Foundation program in Nyaru Menteng has released a total of 99 orangutans into Bukit Batikap. With these 20 orangutans, the BOS Foundation celebrates the 100th orangutan to be released into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo - February 7, 2014. On February 7 and 8, 2014, 20 rehabilitated orangutans depart from the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng towards pre-designated release points in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. This group consists of 13 female and seven male orangutans including six mother-infant units. Five of the orangutans to be released Jupiter, Mercury, Reno, Hamlet, and Manisha, were the stars of the Orangutan Island series produced by NHNZ and premiered on Animal Planet. The detailed profiles of all the orangutans being released can be seen in the attached Orangutan Release Candidate Profiles.
The 20 orangutans fly from Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya to Beringin airport in Muara Teweh. From Muara Teweh, they will be transported by a helicopter to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Due to the number of orangutans, they are divided into two groups. 11 orangutans are flying on the first day, and the rest will fly on the second day.
The orangutan release event is part of the effort to meet the target stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017 which was launched by the President of Indonesia at the Climate Change Conference in Bali 2007. The Plan states that all orangutans within rehabilitation centers should be released by 2015 at the latest. Since 2012, the BOS Foundation has released a total of 120 orangutans to their natural habitat in Central and East Kalimantan, with 99 in Central Kalimantan and 21 orangutans in East Kalimantan. With the 20 orangutans now being released in Central Kalimantan, the BOS Foundation celebrates the 100th orangutan released into Bukit Batikap and in total, they have released 119 orangutans into this conservation forest which is located in Murung Raya Regency. Thus the total orangutans released in both Central and East Kalimantan are 140 orangutans.
Denny Kurniawan, Program Manager of the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction program in Nyaru Menteng stated, “The Indonesian Government must act assertively in protecting orangutan habitat. To achieve the target of orangutan reintroduction, the BOS Foundation will continue our work and efforts to return the orangutans to their natural habitat. However, soon, the carrying capacity of Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest will reach its maximum limit and we will need to find another safe and suitable forest. If the Government can’t enforce the law to protect orangutan habitat, the targets stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Action Plan will not be realized.”
Meanwhile, to reduce the number of incoming orphaned or displaced orangutans into rehabilitation centers, which will significantly help achieve the Action Plan target, the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA) is making efforts to minimize the conflict between orangutans and humans. According to the Head of Central Kalimantan BKSDA, Ir. Hariyadi, “Private Companies that exploit the forest area in their business endeavors must contribute to orangutan conservation efforts by cooperating with BKSDA. At the moment, there are four oil palm companies in Central Kalimantan (16 companies) which have initiated a cooperation agreement with BKSDA. One of the means is by establishing an Orangutan Rescue Force with the purpose to prevent conflict between humans and orangutans in plantation areas. I believe we can reduce the incoming numbers of orangutans into the rehabilitation centers to meet the target of the Orangutan Conservation Action Plan 2007 – 2017.”
Dr. Jamartin Sihite, the CEO of the BOS Foundation stated, “By observing the loss to environmental disasters lately, we can conclude that orangutans are our solution. To preserve orangutans and their habitat is just as important as preserving our lives. Orangutans are an umbrella species which play an important and significant role in forest regeneration, and humans are reliant on the forest as the source of oxygen, clean and fresh water, and flood and erosion barrier. For those reasons alone, it is important that more and more people are aware of the importance of forest preservation.”
The success of orangutan conservation efforts heavily relies on the support of many related parties, including the government, community, and private sectors. The BOS Foundation continuously works together with the Government of Indonesia at all levels, this includes the Ministry of Forestry, Central Kalimantan Provincial Government, Murung Raya Regency, and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA. On December 31, 2009, the BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan Provincial Government signed a cooperation agreement on orangutan and habitat conservation in Central Kalimantan.
As an addition to the support from the government, this release event, as always, is also supported by the community of Murung Raya, individual donors, partner organizations, and all concerned conservation organizations all over the world. The BOS Foundation would like to convey its gratitude to BHP Billiton for the financial and logistical support given to undertake this event. The BOS Foundation would also like to reach out to the business community to fulfill their environmental responsibilities to ensure the nature conservation and preservation in Indonesia.