The joint meeting of the International Primatological Society (IPS) and the Malaysian Primatological Society (MPS) 2023 was held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. This week-long event marked the 29th global conference, which takes place every two years.
The theme for this year’s meeting was “Primates and People: A New Horizon”. The conference included various keynote speakers, plenary sessions, discussions and workshops, exhibitions, and technical site visits around Sarawak.
The Sebangau National Park Agency (BTNS) and Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) Indonesia attended IPS 2023 to deliver a joint presentation entitled “The Importance of Collaboration to Support Primate Conservation in Borneo.”
Noviyanti Nugraheni, the Public Relations and Partnership Coordinator for BTNS, led this presentation on the importance of collaboration to support conservation efforts in Borneo. Encompassing a large and biodiverse area of forest in Central Borneo, the Sebangau National Park needs support from partner organisations to collect scientific data on the region’s unique and threatened primates.
“There are nine species of primate that inhabit the National Park, which covers over five and half thousand hectares. To manage such a large area, we will need the help of partners like BNF,” she explained.
Together with BNF, we have produced a book about the nine primate species that live in Sebangau National Park. So, we are still developing new partnership opportunities and research initiatives about primates.
“We are opening up all sorts of opportunities for researchers to study primates in Sebangau, as they make important contributions to our conservation efforts. Through this conference, we hope to widen our network, forging links with primate scientists around the world to develop new research initiatives,” Novi continued.
BNF’s Orangutan Scientist, Risfatul Ulya, also added that the IPS conference is a great opportunity for BNF to showcase our work, as we are an NGO that focuses heavily on primate conservation, and particularly on key species like the Bornean orangutan.
“This IPS-MPS joint meeting is very important for BNF to showcase our conservation efforts alongside BTNS, specifically concerning primates inhabiting the national park,” Ulya said.
One of the Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) awardees, Dimas Teja Kusuma, also had the opportunity to attend. He is a student from the Forestry Department within the Faculty of Agriculture at Palangka Raya University and has joined many of BNF’s activities and outreach events since receiving OCS.
Dimas presented his thesis research on the “Overlap in Activity Pattern between Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) and Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina)” in the Natural Laboratory of Peat-swamp Forest, a special zone in the Sebangau National Park. This international conference represents an important step for Dimas, who is still registered as an undergraduate student.
“I was very nervous because of my limited English. I presented in front of doctors, professors, and primate experts with many years of experience,” Dimas said of his very first international presentation.
Although Dimas was concerned about his English, the presentation was very well received by audiences at the IPS conference. He now plans to make the most of the conference’s networking opportunities and hopes that his experience will serve as an inspiration for his friends and fellow OCS recipients.
Written by Yohanes Prahara, Content Creator and Media Liaison