Help us rescue orangutans, protect rainforests, and support sustainable alternatives to conflict palm oil destroying the rainforests the orangutans call home.
Launching the movement at Southern Cross University!
Following the largest forest fires in history, the island of Borneo is in an ecological crisis. Up to 50% of the wild orangutan population has been affected by huge recent fires, according to experts.
We MUST secure the future of Borneo's wild orangutans.
We're telling someone who cares - someone like YOU!
Please click on the Donate button now! Your school can get also GET INVOLVED by holding your own RAD Day! Your school can adopt an Orangutan! Get your family, a group of friends together or give as a gift to somone !
Please watch our short video to find out about what the Sintang Orangutan Center does in Borneo and why it matters to everyone!
The Tembak Forest School is currently home to a dozen rescued and soft released Orangutans – including JoJo, Mamat, Beno, Momo, Joy, Bembi, Molly, Inul, Tanjung, and the babies: Gagas, Terra, Ribang – yet there are many more orphaned Orangutans at the Center.
Currently 16 Orangutans are waiting to take the next step in their rehabilitation that comes through the opportunity to participate in forest school.
We are currently raising money to construct the second forest school enclosure at Tembak Forest School, suitable for five to eight Orangutans and adding to the existing enclosures currently at Tembak.
The Orangutans use these enclosures to keep them safe at night, while during the day they are introduced to the surrounding rainforest under the supervision of the staff employed at Tembak to oversee the rehabilitation program.
At Tembak Forest School, the Orangutans are reintroduced to their natural forest habitat, where they learn and practice the skills needed to survive at the wild.
Here they learn to find natural sources of food, climb trees and make nests, for example. In the surrounding rainforest there are many species of trees that provide fruit and leaves and also protein sources, such as ant nests, honey, etc.
Timber harvesting and the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations are driving massive deforestation in Borneo.
The destruction of rainforest habitat often results in adult Orangutans being killed.
Adults are also sometimes deemed to be pests to agriculture and are brutally killed. Sometimes mothers are killed so the babies can be captured and kept or sold as pets.
Baby Orangutans are dependent on their mothers until they are about eight years old, so orphans need to be taken into care if they are to survive.
Orphaned Orangutans at the Tembak Forest School first arrived at the Sintang Orangutan Center after being rescued from forestry activities, oil palm plantations, or from being kept illegally as pets.
The Dayak people of the Village of Tembak have generously donated 58 hectares of their land to allow the Tembak Forest School to be constructed rehabilitate Orangutans, preparing them for release into the wild.
At Tembak we’ve achieved great advancements in the past year with a new veterinary clinic now well-established, along with the Orangutan Forest School now in full swing.
I'm working with the innovative Masarang Tengkawang factory in Tembak an incredible 'zero waste' factory for processing the unique oil from threatened rainforest trees.
Tengkawang fat, also known as 'Borneo butter", is considered the highest quality vegetable oil produced by nature.
The new factory's capability to create substantial amounts of biochar as well as seed cake for fish or pig food and a rich compost for the local veggies is almost a dream come true!
Even better, the Masarang tengkawang business, which completed its first harvest processing during the team's first visit, was built to provide a fair income for the Dayak by allowing them to process tenkgawang fat directly after harvesting, creating the value directly in the forest. They are now experimenting with value adding to the oil to produce the first Masarang Forest Soap from the village - which we are launching in Australia as Tell Someone Who Cares!
It is still early days, but the expectation is that the economic returns and job creation potential both potentially far outstrip palm oil.
The Tengkawang tree grows everywhere in the jungles of West Borneo. The trees have an irregular flowering pattern, but in general there is a mass-flowering every four to five years.
When a mass flowering occurs, there is such a large amount of Tengkawang nuts that it is too much to process at the processing plant in Pontianak, which causes the price to drop dramatically.
The local Dayak therefore never really benefit from harvesting these nuts, whereas once processed, the fat can be stored for 10 years without problems.
In between these mass-flowering seasons, only about 5% of the trees flower. By collecting the nuts from a larger region, however, enough nuts can still be collected to fulfill the production capacity for this small factory. In between the tengkawang production, coconuts can be pressed to produce coconut oil.
The Tengkawang Alternative
About the Tengkawang factory design and team
More on Tengkawang trees and use in agroforestry
I am excited to work directly with the Dayak community to help these orphaned orangutans on their journey back to the wild.
By working together, we can all help to create an exemplar of ecological and economic empowerment that restores a traditional food source and an endangered rainforest tree.
This project is being championed by: Masarang Foundation
Founder Dr Willie Smits is a forester, conservationist, animal rights activist. He was born and educated in the Netherlands, but has lived in Indonesia since 1985 and is an Indonesian citizen. While working as a forest researcher in East Kalimantan, Indonesia in 1989, he encountered a baby Orangutan in a cage in a market, and later returned to find it abandoned on a rubbish heap. This was a turning-point in his career: taking the Orangutan home, he nurtured it back to health. He was soon given other Orangutans to look after, and the work of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing Orangutans into the wild developed into what was to become Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
About the Village of Tembak
Tembak is a community in the Western Kalimantan region of Borneo that has held firm in its commitments to keep its rainforest standing and say NO to palm oil. The Dayak people living in this community have a deeply rooted respect for the natural environment surrounding them with their lives ever connected.
The village of Tembak is very self-sufficient with a large community garden that grows a majority of their produce, has its own micro-hydroelectricity dams that have been created by the village elders, and many examples of aquaculture fish ponds as a source of food. Earlier in 2014 we raised the funds needed to build a new high school in Tembak and planning for constructing the school are now underway. By supporting the community of Tembak we keep the surrounding rainforest standing.