About Us

Borneo Nature Foundation is a not-for-profit conservation and research organisation. We work to protect some of the most important areas of tropical rainforest and to safeguard the wildlife, environment and indigenous culture on Borneo.

Throughout our programmes, we support and empower community-led initiatives to protect forest and biodiversity, including anti-logging patrols, fire-fighting teams, environmental education and the replanting and restoration of damaged forests. All our field programmes include high-quality scientific research as a basis for protecting and managing forests, and we have particular expertise in monitoring the distribution, population status, behaviour and ecology of Borneo’s flagship ape species; the endangered orangutan and southern Bornean gibbon. We provide training and capacity building for local students, researchers and conservation-area managers, and work with a number of local partners to implement successful conservation projects.

Our longest running programme, the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop), was founded in 1999. We identified the Sabangau Forest as home to the largest orangutan population in lowland Borneo, bringing the region to the forefront of orangutan conservation efforts and resulting in the award of National Park status in 2004. Here we carry out long-term ecological research; contribute to peatland restoration efforts and support local initiatives to manage and protect peat-swamp forest habitat. We are proud to support, advise and fundraise for the TSA Kalteng Community Patrol Team and other fire-fighting units in Central Kalimantan, who put their lives on the line to stop fires and save the forest.

In Barito Ulu we have adopted the management of the former University of Cambridge research station, one of the longest-running research programmes in Kalimantan. This site is in a critical region in the south of the Heart of Borneo landscape and has been used for orangutan reintroductions. The Rungan River Orangutan Conservation Programme is our newest programme, where we are working with local stakeholders with the aim to protect up to 100,000 hectares of forest within a multi-use landscape. This is a critical region that contains one of the largest populations of orangutans outside of protected areas on Borneo.

Alongside these programmes we work with a wide range of partners throughout Kalimantan to survey biodiversity, make recommendations on forest management, support conservation efforts and advise on national and international strategies to protect the natural habitats and wildlife of the island of Borneo.


Bornean Orangutan in Sabangau_2015_Photo by Bernat Ripoll Capilla & OuTrop

Our top accomplishments

  • We have been working to protect the biodiversity and forests of Borneo since 1999.
  • We identified the Sabangau Forest as home to the largest orangutan population in lowland Borneo, bringing the region to the forefront of orangutan conservation efforts and resulting in the award of National Park status in 2004.
  • We now work in three forest field sites in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. In 2016, we established a new conservation and research programme in the unprotected Rungan Forest and a new local education programme, and in 2017 we will launch another new conservation and research programme in the Barito Ulu forest in Kalimantan’s remote interior.
  • Our Education Team now runs weekly sessions for 70 children in the village of Kereng Bangkirai, adjacent to our long-term field site in Sabangau, and visit local schools twice per week to deliver environmental education.
  • We operate three long-term primate population density and behaviour projects in the Sabangau Forest, studying wild Bornean orangutans (14 years of research), white-bearded gibbons (12 years) and red langur monkeys (8 years).
  • We have a growing team of 50 Indonesian staff, supported by international scientists and expert advisors; specialising in primates, mammals, botany, community development, education, research, ecology, biodiversity and conservation. We are committed to building capacity in Indonesia through our innovative Staff Development Programme.

(C) OuTrop_Bernat Ripoll Capilla_Fire Campaign 2014 (2)

  • We have supported a local Community Patrol Team in Sabangau since 2004, through providing funding, equipment, training and technical expertise. The Community Patrol Team have carried out an estimated 2,340 patrols of the Sabangau Forest in this time; checking habitat restoration projects, patrolling for human disturbance (such as hunting and illegal logging) and forest fires.
  • With the Community Patrol Team, we have built over 600 dams to block man-made canals in the peat-swamps of Sabangau since 2010. The dams stop the drainage of the peat, restore the forest’s hydrology and prevent fires.
  • We have supported seven local fire-fighting teams and are in the process of establishing three new teams to help prevent the devastating fires that plague the forests, peatlands and towns of Indonesia every year.
  • We have carried out ecological and primate population surveys in numerous forests and concessions across Indonesian Borneo to identify and highlight forests of high conservation value, and generate conservation management recommendations.
  • We have trained over 280 volunteers, 30 research students and 10 interns in a wide range of conservation biology topics since the organisation was established.
  • Members of the Borneo Nature Foundation team have contributed to 25 IUCN Red List Assessments, the Orangutan Population and Habitat Viability Analyses in 2004 and 2016, and published approximately 200 scientific journal articles.
  • We collaborate with leading scientists and conservationists from across Indonesia and globally and are affiliated with Indonesian universities (University of Palangka Raya and Universitas Muhammadiyah Palangkaraya) and UK universities (Leicester, Exeter and Oxford Brookes).