Orangutan Land Trust
|Founder(s)||Michelle Desilets and Lone Drøscher Nielsen|
|Key people||Trustees: Sir David Chivers, Clare McLardy
Scientific Advisors: Simon Husson, Dr Helen Murrogh-Bernard, Dr Ian Singleton, Dr Eric Meijaard
Business Advisor: Alexandra Saunders
The Orangutan Land Trust is a UK charity with the objective of providing sustainable solutions for the long-term survival of the orangutan in the wild by ensuring safe areas of forest for their continued existence. Its President is Lone Droscher Nielsen, founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation's Nyaru Menteng Project, the largest primate rescue project in the world.
While there are projects that rescue and rehabilitate orangutans, there is an increasing scarcity of rainforest in which the orangutan can live and as a consequence the species is facing imminent extinction. As Lone Drøscher Nielsen writes: "Securing safe forest habitat is the single-most important thing we can do to save the orangutan from extinction."
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN/2004) included orangutans in the category of Critically Endangered. According to the IUCN, it is expected that in 10 to 30 years orangutans will be extinct if there is no serious effort to overcome the threats that the orangutans are facing.
This view is also supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, which states in its report that due to illegal logging, fire and extensive building of oil palm plantations, orangutans are critically endangered, and if the current trend continues, they will become extinct.
Projects under development
A major objective of Orangutan Land Trust is to secure the river island known as Salat Island in Central Kalimantan to provide habitat in which orangutans undergoing the rehabilitation process can refine their skills before being released in the wild. Additionally, a part of this island can serve as permanent sanctuary for those rescued orangutans who can never be released, such as those with chronic disease or disabilities.
East Kalimantan Ecosystem Restoration Concessions
Borneo Orangutan Survival is one of the Indonesian NGOs seeking ways of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). It has acquired from the Department of Forestry an Ecosystem Restoration Concession with the intention of using the forest area as a release site for rehabilitated orangutans from its Samboja Lestari and Wanariset projects in East Kalimantan (over 200 individuals). The concession is 86,000 hectares of the ex-PT Mugi Triman International (MGI) timber concession. Releases begin in May 2012.
Central Kalimantan Ecosystem Restoration Projects
Orangutan Land Trust are working with the Green Line Corporation in Indonesia to secure 80,000 hectares of mostly degraded and deforested peat forest in Central Kalimantan as an Ecosystem Restoration Concession, in order to provide sanctuary for at least 200 orangutans rescued and rehabilitated by Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation's Nyaru Menteng Project.
The Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank (Malua BioBank) is located next to one of the last areas of virgin rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The Malua BioBank will restore and protect 34,000 hectares (84,000 acres) of critical orangutan habitat called the Malua Forest Reserve.
- http://www.newsweek.com/id/209956 The Search for Sanctuary: Orphan Apes By Hillary Rosner NEWSWEEK Published August 1, 2009
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Wild Orangutans: Extinct by 2023?
- FOX NEWS: Orangutans in Losing Battle in Indonesia
- United Nations Environment Programme: The Last Stand of the Orangutan - State of Emergency: Illegal Logging, Fire and Palm Oil in Indonesia's National Parks