March Green Drinks: Addressing Human-Orangutan Conflict in Agricultural Landscapes around the Leuser Ecosystem, Northern Sumatra

This month, we are delighted to have Panut Hadisiswoyo, Founding Director of Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), with us. He will share how his organisation addresses the conflict between humans and orang utans in the Leuser Ecosystem of North Sumatra.

Big thanks to Nor Lastrina of Singapore Youth for Climate Action for helping to coordinate this session, and to SingJazz Club for hosting us once again.

Background to Panut’s talk

The Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) is an Indonesian conservation NGO working for the protection of rainforests, the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and thousands of other species sharing their habitat. The OIC promotes conservation amongst communities living adjacent to the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) of the Leuser Ecosystem, helping them protect and improve their livelihoods and, in the process, safeguarding an ecosystem of vital importance in the global fight against climate change.

To address the conflict between human and orangutans, the OIC has been involved in various programmes to mitigate the conflict. Among others, the restoration of degraded forests has been conducted since 2005 by planting more than a million indigenous tree seedlings, in close collaboration with local communities, to repair damage caused through agricultural encroachment onto protected land.

These restoration projects have social as well as environmental benefits, offering local people a way of supporting their families whilst preserving and restoring the rainforest. Second, the Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) has been developed since 2010 to address the problem of human conflicts with the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan in agricultural landscapes adjacent to the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP), Sumatra, Indonesia.

The HOCRU is a roving team that responds to conflict situations and reports of crop raiding in agricultural areas across northern Sumatra. Forest-adjacent communities are offered training in best-practice methods of safely and humanely protecting their crops from orangutans, and data is collected regarding the extent and severity of this problem. The project aims to contribute to the conservation of Sumatran orangutans through research, education, orangutan rescue, and the implementation of best practice techniques for the prevention and mitigation of human-orangutan conflict. Since 2012, 91 orangutans have been evacuated with more than 50 rescued from isolated community farmland and plantation areas and more than 25 confiscated from private residences.

Date: 30 March 2016 (Wed)
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm
Venue: SingJazz Club, 101 Jalan Sultan, #02-00, The Sultan.
Admission: Free (contributions to society accepted)
RSVP: Via Facebook or email

We look forward to seeing you!

About our speaker

Panut Hadisiswoyo is the Founding Director of the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), an Indonesian based NGO working with local communities surrounding the Leuser Ecosystem in Northern Sumatra. The OIC restores orangutan habitat, respond to incidents of human orangutan conflict, conduct forest patrols and campaign locally and internationally to raise awareness about critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans and their super bio-diverse rainforest homes.

Panut’s main mission is working for the protection of rainforests, the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan and thousands of other species sharing their habitat. He promotes conservation amongst communities living adjacent to the Leuser Ecosystem, helping them protect and improve their livelihoods and, in the process, safeguarding an ecosystem of vital importance in the global fight against climate change. In addition to thousands of species of flora and fauna, around four million people living in Sumatra depend on the Leuser forests for vital ecological services.

Panut and his team have been involved in the restoration of degraded forests since 2005, planting over a million indigenous tree seedlings, in close collaboration with local communities, to repair damage caused through agricultural encroachment onto protected land.These restoration projects have social as well as environmental benefits, offering local people a way of supporting their families whilst preserving and restoring the rainforest. More than 80 people are directly employed by this programme, and the benefits extend to their entire communities.

In 2015, Panut received the Whitley Award for international nature conservation and In 2013, Panut received two awards namely Ashoka and UNEP’s GRASP Ian Redmond Conservation Awards for his efforts to protect critically endangered orangutans in Sumatra. Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale. In 2012, Panut was nominated as the finalist of Forest Hero by the UN.


Public Talk with Panut Hadisiswoyo of Orangutan Information Centre

The Principal Conservationist & Founding Director of Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) Panut Hadisiswoyo will be in Singapore next week.

Hosted by ECO Singapore, the event will take place at the National Geographic Store (Singapore), where Panut will share his experience at the Human Orangutan Conflict Resolution Unit (HOCRU) in Sumatra, Indonesia.

This sharing session covers areas of the work at the OIC, HOCRU, as well as animal protection, environmental education and awareness, sustainable eco-tourism projects and community development initiatives. More details on the topic can be found here, or visit their Facebook event page.

Date: 17th November (Thursday)

Time: 7.00pm to 9.00pm

Venue: National Geographic Store (Singapore), 1 HarbourFront Walk, #01-19 VivoCity, Singapore, Singapore 098585

Nearest MRT Station: Harbour Front

To register, click here.

[Panut is also speaking on Wednesday 16 Nov 2011 at 5.30pm @ NUS LT20, hosted by N.Sivasothi. More information here: ]

Image taken from Jason Pier in DC