Orangutan sanctuary volunteering in Borneo

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2019: 3 Mar, 31 Mar, 28 Apr, 2 Jun, 30 Jun, 28 Jul
2020: 1 Mar, 30 Mar, 26 Apr, 31 May, 28 Jun, 26 Jul, 23 Aug
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Orangutan sanctuary volunteering in Borneo

Environment

Nyaru Menteng is one of Indonesia’s most prestigious and renowned orangutan rehabilitation and rescue centres, and one of the main focal points of BOS (‘The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation’), who have a mission of:

1. Accelerating the release of Bornean orangutans from ex-situ to in-situ locations
2. Encouraging the protection of Bornean orangutans and their habitat
3. Increasing the empowerment of local communities surrounding the orangutan’s habitat
4. Supporting research and education activities for the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their habitat
5. Promoting the participation of and partnership with all land stakeholders
6. Strengthening institutional capacity for education programmes

At the centre, the emphasis is on rehabilitation of orangutans – many of whom were rescued from atrocious situations. The overriding goal of this is to reintroduce orangutans back to secure natural habitats in order to establish new viable long-term populations to bolster the conservation of the species in the wild.

Each orangutan is placed through a rigorous quarantine process before the rehabilitation process and subsequent release can begin. This is very important, as many rescued orangutans have been exposed to human diseases which they would not normally encounter in the wild.

Sadly, many of the orangutans resident here cannot ever be released back into the wild because of injury or illness. For these orangutans, the sanctuary provides them with a safe haven where they can live out the rest of their lives – away from the threat of deforestation and human destruction.

Community

The local people are gaining both financially and environmentally from this sanctuary along with the presence and support of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, the charity whom the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary was formed in conjunction with. They receive income from the sale of the land which the sanctuary bought to build its foundation on, from salaries working in the centre either as orangutan carers, cooking and cleaning staff, volunteer coordinators, and even as drivers. Also, volunteers visit two markets where they can purchase goods from the locals so this also provides extra income to these people too.

What's more, the presence of the Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation has also promoted forms of farming that do not involve burning and destroying forests, switching to agriculture combining rattan, sugar palms, pineapples, papayas, beans, and corn along with other fruits and vegetables. This also helps the community to understand the importance of sustainable agriculture and how to execute sustainable agricultural practices.

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