Humans share 97 percent of our DNA with orangutans. Indonesia’s orangutans are becoming refugees in their own homes as the country’s forests are logged or cleared for development. The species is now critically endangered, coming head-to-head with a complex set of issues stemming mostly from palm oil production.
Adding to the tragedy of the orangutan’s disappearing homes, forest destruction in Indonesia is polluting the air far beyond the country’s borders, contributing significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions, and decimating local communities who have depended on a balanced relationship with the forest for centuries.
East Kalimantan has the potential to be a leading example of how communities can take action across sectors to benefit people and nature. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is following a collaborative approach to forest protection: Through the Green Growth Compact, we are empowering communities to protect and manage forest areas, working with logging and oil palm companies on conservation practices, and advocating for policies and funding to make this work possible. Our goal is to improve the management of 9.8 million hectares of forest in Indonesia by 2020.
Together, we can reverse the Bornean orangutan’s declining populations, one tree at a time.