This Holiday Season, #ConserveDontConsume
Please join me for a chance to do something special for our future generations, for the survival of these endangered species and for our beautiful world in general.
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.
In January, Danielle Da Silva and I travelled to Sumatra to document the work of Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) and we quickly bonded not only with the orangutans, but with the members of this amazing team.
PWB photographer Kristi Odom has her own special connection with this project and with orangutans through her own work documenting orangutan conservation in Borneo.
Together, we have created this group as an effort to 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 encourage and provide job alternatives (to palm oil plantation work) to locals and will hopefully inspire further conservation and reforestation efforts.
Individual Donation Incentives:
$50 - Receive a personal thank you card from us.
$100 - We will send you a personalized print with a beautiful original image by PWB Photographer Gita Defoe
$250 - Plant a tree in your name in or near the sanctuary land.
$500 - Receive a beautiful printed book of original images by PWB Photographer Gita Defoe
$750 - Receive a beautiful printed book of original images by PWB Photographer Gita Defoe AND plant a tree in your name in or near the sanctuary land.
TEAM/Large Donation Incentives:
$5,000 - Become an "Ambassador of the Sanctuary" and you are welcomed to be a featured guest for a week (airfare not included) at the sanctuary once it is complete. You also become the owner of one virtual hectare of rainforest land.
$10,000 or more - Become a "Founder of the Sanctuary" and you are welcomed to be a featured guest for a week (airfare included) at the sanctuary once it is complete. You also become the owner of 2 virtual hectares of rainforest land.
***For donations of $1,000 or more, your name/organization name (if provided) will be added to a plaque that will be displayed publicly at the sanctuary.***
Why the need for a sanctuary/conservation lands?:
Sumatra, the only home to endangered species such as the Sumatran orangutan, tiger, rhino and elephant, is becoming devastated by greedy palm oil plantations. 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 orangutan, 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.
The goal of this fundraiser:
We will raise $100,000 USD to purchase around 40 hectares of rainforest land and begin set-up and building arrangements for the sanctuary.
More about us: www.sumatranwildlifesanctuary.org
Matt and Gita, all the best on this wonderful endeavour!