Tag Archives: Orangutan Foundation

The Great Ape Debate

Please see below a summary of a press release by The Linnean Society of London and the World Land Trust.


On the 30th April 2009 at 18.00-19.00 British time, the World Land Trust and Linnean Society of London will host the widely anticipated ‘Great Ape Debate’. The debate will be streamed live onto the organisation’s websites allowing a huge public audience for what is expected to be a lively and informative debate.

The destruction of huge areas of orangutan habitat is now seriously threatening the species with extinction and leading conservationists in the field hold conflicting views on how best to ensure the survival of “the person of the forest”.

This debate will focus on the controversy surrounding Orangutan conservation and whether rehabilitation and reintroduction of rescued captive animals is a viable way of conserving Orangutans or would resources be better spent on the purchase, protection and recreation of their natural habitats? Experts are divided in their opinions, and this forum, consisting of conservation experts and scientists , will pool their views and open the debate to the floor in what should prove to be an intriguing and lively discussion. The issues raised will also be relevant to the conservation of other species.

The debate will be chaired by The Earl of Cranbrook, and making up the panel will be:

Dr Marc Ancrenaz – Director of Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project

Mr John A Burton, FLS – Founder and CEO of World Land Trust

Dr David J. Chivers, FLS – University Reader in Primate Biology and Conservation, Veterinary Anatomy Programme and Head Wildlife Research Group at Cambridge University.

Ms Ashley Leiman, OBE – Founder and Director of Orangutan Foundation (UK)

Mr Ian Redmond, OBE – Ambassador, UN Year of the Gorilla and Chief Consultant, GRASP – UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Project.

The link for the debate is http://www.worldlandtrust.org/videos/great-ape-debate.htm or www.linnean.org.

Supermarket Sweep!

Last Saturday afternoon, the foyer of a Brightonbased branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket played host to my first awareness & fundraiser day for the Orangutan Foundation. Myself (a past field volunteer and now intern for the Foundation), Dan (a past field volunteer and subsequently Coordinator for the 2008 Volunteer Programme) and my two very kind and willing friends Grace and Vikki, set up stall and spent the day taking turns donning Nick, the Foundations orangutan suit.

Volunteers & Nick the orangutan

Sam is on the left and Dan on the right.

UK volunteers

Sainsburys very kindly let us into the store to wander the aisles and drum up a bit of a buzz and that we did to everyones amusement.

Nick buying bananas

Nick buying bananas

Bar the few terrified children and checkout girl who I made scream, fun was had by all and we raised just shy of £250 and hundreds of our leaflets were taken by interested shoppers. The day, whilst a trial run, was very succesful. If any one is interested in helping out on future fun days like this, or would like to set up their own, then don’t hesitate to contact us on [email protected].



Stephen’s Farewell Party

We held Stephen’s farewell party on Saturday night, and various representatives from local NGOs and government stood up and described how much they enjoyed working with Stephen over the past years, and also what they’ve learnt from him. Stephen tried to hide a tear or two, but we noticed 🙂

Stephen proudly displaying a portrait drawn by Programme Coordinator, Pak Hudi

Stephen proudly displaying a portrait drawn by our new Programme Coordinator, Pak Hudi

Yayorin’s gift to Stephen

Stephen’s gift from Yayorin

Stephen with Pak Ade

Stephen and Pak Ade, former Head of Section II, Conservation & Natural Resources Agency. Pak Ade took a break from his Ph.D studies, and flew from Bogor, Java to attend Stephen’s farewell party!

Ully, June and Yarrow

Ms Ully (Office Manager), June Rubis (Programme Manager), Yarrow Robertson (Director of Indonesia Programme)

Stephen with his leaving book

Stephen reading his gift from us all, his leaving book

Ully, Astri, Stephen and Yarrow

Ully, Astri, Stephen and Yarrow

Pak Teguh’s own surprise gift

Pak Teguh (Guard Posts Supervisor) surprised us all with his own unique gift for Stephen.

Stephen’s party

Final farewells

Everybody wanted to shake Stephen’s hand one last time!

Farewell party group shot

Ambassadors For Orangutans

Part of the Orangutan Foundation’s Education Programme in the UK involves us giving regular talks to schools, universities and social groups. As we are a small but very busy team it was decided to set up a network of local “ambassadors” who would be willing to speak about orangutans and our work on our behalf.

Well, we were overwhelmed by the response that we received. 15 Orangutan Foundation members, from all over the country came to our London office on Saturday.

Briefing Day at OF office

Everybody was extremely knowledgeable about orangutans, the current situation and our work, with most people having visited where we work in Borneo either through a Discovery Initiatives Study Tour or the Volunteer Programme.

Orangutan Foundation Display

We spent the whole day arming our orangutan “ambassadors” with information, PowerPoint presentations and lots of other helpful materials.

Ambassador Day at Orangutan Foundation UK office

This blog is also an enormous help and useful resource for keeping people up to date. Six other people have also confirmed they want to be ambassadors but they couldn’t make it to the briefing day, so in total we have 21 Orangutan Foundation Ambassadors!

It was a truly inspirational day for us at the office and we would like to thank everyone who came on Saturday.

Lisa B thank you very much for your recent donation ($50 to us and $20 to Wildlife Direct) it is much appreciated.

My fun in the forest is drawing to an end…

This post has two parts, a fun story and a sad one. I’ll start with the fun one first.

Last Sunday’s day out, when I caught up with orangutan Zidane at Camp Buluh, wasn’t all plain sailing. As we headed up to Camp Buluh our speedboat hit a submerged log. This happens fairly often and is normally no big drama. On Sunday, however, we hit the log end-on and split it with the result the speedboat’s propeller ended-up stuck fast in the V formed by the split wood. Try as we might, we could not free the boat. The only thing for it was to get in the water. Without really thinking, the driver and I jumped in. Bracing one foot on one side of the V and pulling at the other side I tried to open the gap while the driver pushed the engine free.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Stephen in deep water

In case you can’t make out the red writing it reads – ‘uncomfortably, deep, dark water!’

I had not been in the water many minutes before I suddenly remembered the crocodile attack from earlier in the year! That water is very, very black. And deep. All of which can really set your imagination into overdrive: I was very happy to climb back on board.

The second, sad piece of information is that I won’t be telling you many more of these stories. Our day out was part of my handover: in April I will be leaving Indonesia, hopefully to return to University to study veterinary medicine.

June Rubis at Pondok Ambung

June Rubis at Pondok Ambung Tropical Forest Research Station.

Pak Hudi

Mr Hudi Dewe above and below.

Mr Hudi

The good news is that two great people are taking over from me: June Rubis from Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) and Mr. Hudi Dewe from Java. Both have years of experience behind them and will no doubt keep this blog flowing. I welcome them both to the Orangutan Foundation.

Many thanks,


Double Our Funds For Orangutans

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, a philanthropist organisation, The Reed Foundation, has promised to double any donations made to five different wildlife charities through its charity website www.theBigGive.org.uk. The Orangutan Foundation is delighted to be one of the chosen charities and donations will go towards our project ‘Protecting Orangutans and Rainforest Biodiversity Through Carbon Markets‘ in the Belantikan Arut region of Central Kalimantan.

On Monday 23rd February at 10am The Big Give will start doubling donations of £5 or more and they will finish when £50,000 has been spent. Please be as generous as possible on the 23rd February, when every donation can go twice as far to achieve our aims in the Belantikan Arut region of Central Kalimantan

Put a note in your diary or an alert on your mobile and just before 10am have your bankcard at hand and simply visit www.thebiggive.co.uk. There will be a ‘Darwin’s Natural Selection’ link in the matched funding area of the Big Give.

The money will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so it is important that you make your donations as soon as possible after the launch of the scheme. The last time The Big Give ran a scheme of this nature, they gave away one million pounds in 45 minutes!

Thank you!!

One year on…

It has been nearly a year since Stephen started this blog on the 23rd November 2007 and so far you have donated US$4,680 towards our programmes in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. This money has been spent on; buying medical supplies for the orangutans at the Orangutan Care Centre and Quarantine; for enclosure repairs (remember the escapees!); fire beaters and equipment to tackle forest fires in Tanjung Puting National Park; and more recently the new feeding system for released orangutans in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

We are hoping to reach the $5,000 target by the end of November. What we really need at the moment or what the Indonesian field staff need is new equipment. On our donation bar under One Time donation there are the options Uniforms or Compass & Wrist Watch. A donation for one of these would be a practical and useful contribution towards our work. Please consider a donation to support our work this month.

On behalf of Orangutan Foundation in Indonesia and the UK thank you for your interest and support over the last year.


(UK office)