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.


The Straits Times: Expect brief spells of haze in Singapore

The Straits Times recently reported that Singapore may be hazy in the next two weeks due to burning activity in Indonesia.

Expect brief spells of haze in Singapore

SINGAPORE could experience brief periods of slight haze in the next two weeks, the National Environment Agency said this week.

In an update on its haze website on Thursday, it said that weather conditions in the region had become drier early in the week, and more ‘hot spot activities’ had been observed in Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Pollutant Standards Index, which measures air quality here, was 50 at 4pm yesterday, in the ‘good’ range.

Air is unhealthy when the index passes 100.

Doctors have said that patients with respiratory problems such as asthma should carry inhalers and avoid outdoor exercise during hazy periods.

Green Drinks: A Sustainable Future for Orangutans and Forests

This is a special session for April, and an extremely timely one, seeing that there has been lots of international media coverage of late on the future of orang utans in Sumatra.We are stoked to have Michelle Desilets, Executive Director of Orangutan Land Trust and Founder of Borneo Orangutan Survival UK as our next speaker. She will be presenting the current challenges faced by orangutan and forest conservationists working in Borneo and Sumatra, and the efforts to address these issues with sustainable and long-term solutions.We hope to see you there!

Partnering us for this event is The Hub Singapore.

Date: 24 April 2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm (talk will be followed by Q&A, then mingling)
Venue:  The Hub Singapore, 113 Somerset Road (National Youth Council building), ground floor.
About Orangutan Land Trust
As a land trust we focus on supporting the preservation, restoration and protection of land masses in the areas where orangutans naturally exist or have existed in the past. The main aim of this trust is to ensure that there are safe forest areas set aside for orangutans and other species which accompany them within their habitat to form a healthy ecosystem.

When you support OLT, we are able to use the funds to investigate land to ensure that it is suitable to use for orangutans as well as secure and protect the land to ensure that it remains a safe and flourishing habitat in an effort to keep wild orangutans from extinction.