From ProFauna Indonesia
This campaign is different from the others because in each place we visit in Sumatra, ProFauna will collaborate with the local people. This is important because the protection of orangutans and its habitat requires a lot of participationFour ProFauna activists (Made Astuti, Nyomi Andriani, Rosek Nursahid and Rody Basuki) will be riding their bikes for approximately 7000 km, passing 6 provinces in Sumatra, namely Lampung, South Sumatra, Jambi, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, and Aceh.
ProFauna Indonesia, a foremost wildlife protection organization in Indonesia, has launched "Ride for Orangutan" campaign to improve people’s awareness towards the preservation of Sumatran orangutans and their habitat. The campaign in Malang (April 7, 2013) is just the beginning, because the real campaign would be in form of a tour around Sumatra by riding trail motorbikes. Four ProFauna activists (Made Astuti, Nyomi Andriani, Rosek Nursahid and Rody Basuki) will be riding their bikes for approximately 7000 km, passing 6 provinces in Sumatra, namely Lampung, South Sumatra, Jambi, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, and Aceh.
In the campaign held from April 20 up to the end of May 2013, the team will work on educational programs at schools and universities in Sumatra about the protection of orangutans and their habitat. The activists will also hold community engagement campaigns in public places by involving local communities. A visit to orangutans’ natural habitat and rehabilitation centers in North Sumatra and Aceh is also on the team’s agenda.
The launching of "Ride for Orangutan" which was joined by tens of ProFauna Indonesia’s activists was attended by many mass media both print and online, and even tv stations. Passers by were also attracted by the unique campaign. Some supporters wore orangutan costumes, accompanied by beautiful ladies carrying signs saying "Save Orangutan Sumatera" and "Orangutan Bantu Orang".
"This campaign is different from the others because in each place we visit in Sumatra, ProFauna will collaborate with the local people. This is important because the protection of orangutans and its habitat requires a lot of participation," stated Made Astuti, the spokesperson of "Ride for Orangutan". The lady biker then added, "Our departure in Jakarta will be attended by Slank, a long-time supporter of ProFauna."
The campaign supported by International Primate Protection League (IPPL) and Toko Bagus.com is expected to increase people’s awareness to protect orangutan, and also to be a pressure for the government to take orangutans and their threatened habitat’s protection even more seriously.
Orangutans are the only great ape species in Asia, whereas the other three of their relatives – gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos- live in Africa. Less than 20.000 years ago, orangutans can be found in all over Southeast Asia, from Java Island in the South up to the Himalayas and South China. Now, orangutans can only be found in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The loss of their population is mostly due to the destruction of their habitat and also trading.
Today, most Sumatran orangutans only live in Aceh and North Sumatra, with the Toba Lake as their southernmost distribution. Their population is estimated to be no more than 6000 individuals, with a large concentration in West Leuser, East Leuser, and Rawa Singkil.
Orangutan is a protected species, which is forbidden to be traded and kept as pets. Statutory to the law number 5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Natural Resources and Its Ecosystem, an orangutan dealer can be given sanctions of a 5 years imprisonment and IDR 100 million fines. Despite of its protected status, orangutan trades keep happening as a result of people’s low awareness and the insubstantial practice of law.