Give the greatest gift in the world by conserving critically endangered species & creating sustainable jobs for the people of Sumatra
In November 2017 I had the privilege of joining Photographers Without Borders for their PWB School program in Sumatra, Indonesia.
We were graciously hosted by the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), a small NGO full of passionate, dedicated team members who work tirelessly to fulfill their mission of protecting the rainforest and its inhabitants. The OIC staff work around the clock to rescue endangered orangutans, to educate people about the devastating effects of palm oil plantations, and to create sustainable jobs.
The OIC is working to establish the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary, a dedicated conservation area that will provide protection for endangered species and jobs for local workers. Their vision is to preserve 30-40 hectares of land so that it can be used sustainably for generations to come. If they cannot buy this land, it will be razed and the ecosystem will be replaced by palm oil trees.
They're already a quarter of the way to their goal and, with your help, we can get even further.
Devastated by the alarming rates of habitat destruction and deforestation in Sumatra, this group will buy and conserve around 40 hectares of rainforest land adjacent to the Gunung Leuser ecosystem so that animals (orangutan, elephants, tigers, rhino, and thousands of other species) may migrate to and from safely. The Sanctuary will also provide job alternatives to palm oil plantation work and it will inspire further conservation and reforestation efforts.
Why the need for a sanctuary/conservation lands?
There is only one place in the world where you will find orangutans in the wild--and that is Indonesia, on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Sumatran rainforests (orangutan and primate habitat) are being bulldozed at an alarming rate for palm oil plantations and agriculture, threatening wild populations of Sumatran orangutan and other endangered species such as Sumatran tiger and rhino. This not only affects wildlife--it also affects people living in small villages who rely on natural water sources for sustenance. Palm plantations require so much water that they are sucking natural water aquifers dry and in some cases, it is becoming more and more necessary for small villages to order bottled water to survive.
Without your help, these lands will likely fall into the hands of palm oil plantations and other developments.
To create a palm oil plantation, the forest is chopped down and animals (such as orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhino) that remain or defend their territory are killed, captured or driven away. Palm plants suck up tons of water from the ground, which in turn affects people, who need water for drinking, cooking and bathing. It's not as easy as "saying no to palm oil"--not only is palm oil in countless products (often disguised in labelling as "vegetable oil"), we need to conserve and palm plantation workers need job alternatives. Conservation provides all kinds of opportunities.
The Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary will provide a natural environment and an opportunity for those orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhino and other species safe corridors to pass from one area to the next. Conserving lands is the most important gift we can bestow upon future generations.