We are delighted to announce the creation of the Borneo Nature Foundation, a new Indonesian conservation organisation dedicated to the protection of biodiversity throughout Borneo. BNF is being created by the directors and staff of the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) to expand our range of projects throughout a wider range of habitat types and to protect many different species. The BNF name reflects our wider goals, to protect the natural environment of this wonderful island, and man’s place in it. This is an exciting and dynamic time for us and we hope everybody will support us as we grow.
We started OuTrop in 1999 as a small research project with a small budget and no full-time staff, but a strong commitment to get the magnificent Sabangau Forest protected. Since these humble beginnings, and thanks to our many global supporters, we have grown in size, both in the scope of activities and in our conservation impact. We are dedicated to protecting, restoring and managing high-priority forests in Indonesian Borneo through in situ conservation projects, conservation-orientated research, capacity building, awareness and education initiatives, all undertaken in partnership with committed local stakeholders, including our long-term partners at the University of Palangka Raya.
We have recently established the new Rungan River Orangutan Conservation Programme, aiming to protect this 100,000+ hectare critical region that contains one of the largest populations of orangutans in Borneo found outside of protected areas. This entire landscape is under threat so we are taking a leading role to survey, map, develop a conservation strategy and ultimately preserve this habitat. We are taking over the long-running Barito Ulu research station that was founded by the University of Cambridge three decades ago; and are expanding our Bornean wild cat research and advocacy programme throughout Central Kalimantan. As part of the expansion BNF is legally registered as a not-for-profit Foundation (Yayasan) in Indonesia.
Our longest-running programme in the Sabangau Forest, OuTrop, will of course remain as the flagship programme of the Borneo Nature Foundation, and here we will continue to undertake our long-term ecological research; peatland restoration efforts and support the TSA Kalteng Community Patrol Team and other fire-fighting teams in Central Kalimantan, who put their lives on the line to stop fires and save forest.
What won’t change is our commitment to protect orangutan habitat in Kalimantan through high-quality research and community-led conservation. We look forward to sharing news about our projects as well as celebrating the ongoing success of the OuTrop and the rest of BNF’s programmes.