25 August 2015 | Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation News Release
Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, 25th August 2015. In commemoration of International Orangutan Day, on 19th August 2015, twenty orangutans will depart from the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng (Nyaru Menteng) and head to prepared release points in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, Murung Raya Regency, Central Kalimantan. The twenty orangutans to be released (5 semi-wild orangutans and 15 rehabilitated orangutans) consists of 11 females and 9 males, amongst them are four pairs of mother and infant units.
These twenty individuals will embark from Nyaru Menteng to transit enclosures located in SKW (Agency Regional Conservation Section) II office of Central Kalimantan BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Agency) in Muara Teweh, using road transport in two groups, each consisting of 8 cages. Due to limited space of transit enclosures in Muara Teweh BKSDA SKW II office, each group will leave on different dates. In this facility at Muara Teweh BKSDA SKW II office, orangutans will stay for two nights in the transit enclosures to rest from the first part of their journey. After which, the orangutans will be transported from Beringin Airstrip of Muara Teweh by helicopter straight to Batikap in four trips. On the first day we will fly 9 individuals to Batikap, and the rest will be flown on the next.
Between February 2012 and March 2015, the BOS Foundation released 136 orangutans in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. By releasing another 20, the number of orangutans from Nyaru Menteng released into the Batikap Forest will become 156 individuals.
The combination of land and air transport is carried out as this is the most efficient scenario to safely move orangutans straight to the heart of Batikap. During previous releases, the BOS Foundation successfully moved orangutans using only air transportation. However, following the BOS Foundation’s last successful release event in February 2015 using land and water transport, we consider that option to be the best alternative should air transport not be available.
Denny Kurniawan, Nyaru Menteng Program Manager says, “We are proud that we are able to implement our plans to release more orangutans. Twenty is no small number. This will end their long wait to return to natural habitat. These orangutans belong to the government and we have cared for and rehabilitated them over the last 10 years. They are now ready to return to a life in the forest and the final part of their journey will be by helicopter from Muara Teweh straight to Batikap Forest. I hope that this will be the beginning of their wonderful new life in their natural habitat, just like the previous orangutans we have successfully released.”
Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), Dr. Nandang Prihadi, S.Hut., M.Sc., stresses the significance of the orangutan release effort in Central Kalimantan saying, “The number of orangutans under care within rehabilitation centers is still enormous, and we need send them back to the wild, once they are ready. It is our duty, all of us, the government and all the good people of Central Kalimantan Province to conserve and preserve the forest and this upcoming release, which commemorates International Orangutan Day, is the perfect moment for us to support the cause. We are indebted to provide secure and well-preserved natural habitat as our legacy to the future generations.”
The release also marks the extention of the agreement between the BOS Foundation and the government of Central Kalimantan Province on the conservation of orangutans and their habitat in Central Kalimantan. This agreement will help BOS Foundation to launch a series of orangutan release events in the province of Central Kalimantan, especially in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of BOSF says, “In commemorating our 70th Independence Day as well as the 2015 International Orangutan Day, we are going to release 20 orangutans. We know how it feels to live free, and these 20 orangutans also deserve their freedom. We hope to be able to achieve this through supervision, monitoring, and strict law enforcement by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA for the benefit of preserving the remaining habitat and wildlife in Central Kalimantan. The BOS Foundation therefore hopes to receive a commitment from the government to support our efforts in orangutan habitat conservation, especially to allocate areas for Ecosystem Restoration Concessions to provide suitable habitat for orangutans. It is time for the government to place more concern and emphasis on orangutan conservation efforts by providing areas for them to live in safety. We need to protect this Endangered species from extinction, and equally important is the fact that by conserving orangutan habitat also means protecting valuable ecosystem services which people rely on to survive.”
Drs. Hadi Prabowo, M.M., the Acting Governor of Central Kalimantan Province says, “The government of Central Kalimantan Province has been displaying a great commitment towards forest and biodiversity conservation in our beloved province. We realize that there are still plenty we need to do, a long road ahead to travel, in order to manifest a rich and prosperous Province of Central Kalimantan not only in terms of economy but also of natural biodiversity. Working in collaboration with prominent conservation oragnizations such as BOS Foundation, the government and the people of Central Kalimantan is taking the right way to realize the dream. Let us keep moving on and work hand in hand to develop Central Kalimantan into a prosperous yet eco-friendly province.”
During the orangutan release ceremony which takes place at the Governor’s Office, downtown Palangka Raya, the BOS Foundation will also present a token of appreciation to Dr. Teras Narang, S.H, and Willy M. Yoseph, M.M., for their support during their reign as the Governor of Central Kalimantan (2005-2015) and the Regent of Murung Raya (2003-2013) respectively. The BOS Foundation is also presenting appreciation towards the governments of the Central Kalimantan Province, the Murung Raya Regency, Kapuas Regency and South Barito Regency for their support in orangutan and habitat conservation efforts.
This orangutan release is made possible through the collaboration of many; the government, the general public and the private sector. Therefore, in order to accomplish the conservation of orangutans and their habitat, the BOS Foundation strives to collaborate with the government at all levels including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the government of Central Kalimantan Province, Murung Raya Regency and the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency.
In addition to the support received from the government, this orangutan release also receives significant support from the people of Murung Raya Regency, as well as individual donors and organisations including BOS Switzerland, the Australian Commonwealth Department of the Environment, and conservation organisations throughout the world with an interest in Indonesia’s orangutan conservation efforts. The BOS Foundation would also like to thank the Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) for their financial support and asks for participation from other members of the business community to fulfill environmental obligations and ensure the achievement of national nature conservation efforts.
Monterado Fridman (Agung)
Coordinator of Communications and Education Division of Nyaru Menteng
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