BOSF Board of Trustees' Chairman to discuss orangutan release plan with presidential advisers

Bogor, 14 February 2011

The meeting between the Chairman of the BOSF Board of Trustees, Bungaran Saragih, Emil Salim and Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, is to discuss the measures needed to obtain permits for an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (IUPHHK-RE) in the ex-forest concession of PT. Tunggal Pamenang  in Murung Raya district, Central Kalimantan.

The permit for the area, which totals  68,089 hectares. has been applied for by PT. Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (PT. RHOI), a company established by the BOSF for the  express purpose of restoring and managing forest areas for orangutan releases.

The orangutan release program by BOSF is the embodiment of the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017 which was proclaimed by President Yudhoyono at the UNFCCC held in Bali in December 2007. The Strategy and Action Plan stated that by 2015, the orangutan rehabilitation and reintroduction process should be completed.

Today, the BOSF is rehabilitating 619 orangutans at its Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan. “Orangutans have been living in the rehabilitation centers for too long. We have not been able to release any of them for the last nine years due to a lack of suitable habitat,” said Bungaran Saragih.

E. G. Togu Manurung, Ph.D., CEO and the Chairman of BOS Foundation added, “Support from the government by granting us permits for land management, as well as support from other stake holders is imperative to help us release orangutans back to the forest.”

In the province of Central Kalimantan, BOSF also plans to release orangutans into an area of a forest concession held by PT. Akhates Plywood. An agreement was recently reached between BOSF and Akhates to utilize 18,000 hectares for orangutan habitat. BOSF plans to release at least  8  orangutans from Nyaru Menteng  into that area late this year. The schedule for the release, the first in 9 years by BOSF, will heavily depend on funding and technical preparations.

Meanwhile, pursuant to a decree by the Minster of Forestry executed on August 18, 2010, the  BOSF, through PT. RHOI, has already obtained the license for  an 86,450 forest Ecosystem Restoration Concession in East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara districts, East Kalimantan. The area will be used to release orangutans from the BOSF East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan.

In addition, the BOSF is also applying for another Ecosystem Restoration Concession comprised of 23,000 hectares of forest concession in East Kalimantan once managed by PT. Narkata Rimba. This area will also be used to accomodate the release of rehabilitated orangutans from Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, where there are currently 228 orangutans being cared for, with 127 of them potentially releasable over the next 5 years.