Last month we carried out a socialisation event with the local community and stakeholders in the village of Mungku Baru. This is the closest village to our new field site in the Rungan Forest, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Our Rungan Orangutan Conservation Programme has been running since 2016, through research activities in collaboration with Muhammadiyah University of Palangkaraya (UMP) and community development together with Yayasan Cakrawala Indonesia (YCI).
Kindly hosted by the village elementary school, we introduced the community to our programmes and activities. The socialisation was delivered by Bernat Ripoll Capilla (Field Director), Evi Marlia Kadie (Rungan Programme Assistant) and Riski Angelina Saragih (Programme Coordinator of our Anak Sabangau Education Programme).
Our goal is for the community to understand, support, join and benefit from BNF’s activities in the area. Our hope is to raise awareness and appreciation for the wildlife and forests in the Rungan landscape to help better protect this important habitat.
On this occasion, we shared important information related to the planned activities of the Rungan Programme over the next few months. With our partners at the UMP, we will be running a scientific expedition in the Rungan Forest between July and August. The expedition will be attended by international students coming from several overseas universities together with students from UMP. Implementation in the field will also involve the community of Mungku Baru.
During the Q&A session, we received many questions and suggestions from the community, focusing on community assistance, especially in agriculture, and how to foster a sense of love for the environment.
The community are very welcoming to our Education Programme and hope to adopt our ‘Anak Sabangau Programme’ that has been implemented in the village of Kereng Bangkirai, near our other field site in the Sabangau Forest. We will work with the people of Mungku Baru to introduce a new Education Programme, which suits the needs of the local community.
Through this socialisation event we hope that the community can support and join our conservation, research and education programmes in the Rungan Forest and the village of Mungku Baru. Working together we hope to preserve this beautiful, but threatened forest, for future generations.