The two-year programme, entitled Friends of Orangutan, is in line with the goals and objectives of the Indonesian Orangutan National Plan 2007-2017, and the environmental sustainability commitments of SMART, its parent company Golden Agri-Resources Limited (GAR), and Asia Pulp & Paper.
The Friends of Orangutan will support the release of 40 wild born ex-captive orangutans into their wild habitat, as well as helping provide care for the welfare of 330 orangutans in the OFI Care Center. OFI is a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of wild orangutans and their rainforest habitat, and was founded by Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas in 1986.
H.E. Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, stated:
"We are very pleased to see the partnership between the government, NGOs, and Indonesia's private sector, in the effort to rescue and conserve orang-utan populations, one of the Indonesian nation's wildlife treasures. Hopefully, today's ceremony will mark the starting point of this becoming a partnership model between government, private and public entities, as a key element in preserving orangutans and other wildlife for future generations."
"We are grateful for the support from our Indonesian partners in the government, particularly the Forestry Ministry, PT SMART Tbk and APP. This program is a critical step toward encouraging businesses to work closely with us to make a greater difference in the lives of the orangutans," said Dr.Galdikas, founder of OFI.
GAR and SMART will jointly develop a training program with OFI for its palm oil employees on conserving orangutans in Central, West and East Kalimantan, and will also seek technical assistance from OFI on handling and rehabilitating orangutans.
The cooperation between OFI and APP will include training of APP staff and employees of its pulpwood suppliers on sustainable forest management with an emphasis on orangutan conservation. The cooperation will also include the development of recommendations for APP and its pulpwood suppliers on how to further conserve endangered, protected animals.
Aida Greenbury, Managing Director Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, Asia Pulp & Paper, said: "This programme is in line with our vision for the sustainable management of pulpwood plantations, based on a continuing balance between social, environmental and economic requirements, alongside the compelling need to protect these spectacular creatures and their habitat".
"APP is hoping to develop a track record in supporting the protection of orangutans in Indonesia. We have partnered with NGOs and centres of learning on a range of initiatives to support their long term conservation. For example, we are currently supporting initiatives for the rescue of orangutans. We are also supporting the creation of a wildlife corridor to connect Kutai National Park in eastern Kalimantan with other conservation areas, which will help expand the habitat of the orangutans" said Aida Greenbury.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is brand umbrella for paper products manufactured by a number of mills in Indonesia, inter alia PT. Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT. Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mills, PT. Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT. Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, PT. Ekamas Fortuna and PT. The Univenus in Indonesia. APP markets its products to over 120 countries. The majority of APP's production facilities hold Chain-of-Custody certification from LEI and PEFC. For more information on APP conservation and sustainability initiatives, please visit www.rainforestrealities.com
OFI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild orangutans and their rainforest habitat. Founded by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas and associates in 1986, OFI operates Camp Leakey, an orangutan research area within Tanjung Puting National Park. OFI also runs the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) facility in the Dayak village of Pasir Panjang near Pangkalan Bun, which is home to 330 displaced orangutans, and helps manages the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, where rehabilitated wild born ex-captive orangutans are released into the wild. Through its field programs, OFI also provides employment at these facilities for over 200 local Indonesians. For more information, please visit http://www.orangutan.org.