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Orang Utan Republik Foundation (Established 2004)
Conservation Agency
Web Site: http://www.orangutanrepublik.org/

Director: Gary Shapiro, Ph.D.
Phone: 310-401-6602   Fax: 310-401-6614   E-Mail: info@orangutanrepublik.org
2461 Santa Monica Blvd. #828, Santa Monica, California 90404 UNITED STATES
Department: Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative
Affiliations: Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs; Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative Indonesia, Orangutan Caring Clubs of Indonesia

Mission: Founded in October 2004, the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI) has a mission that facilitates conservation education and outreach regarding the endangered orangutan so that it will be saved from extinction. In 2007, the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) was incorporated to continue supporting the education initiative as a tax-exempt organization.

Principal Research Programs: 1) Facilitating and supporting events such as International Orangutan Awareness Week, Orang Utan Caring Week (Pekan Peduli Orang Utan) in Indonesia, and Earthday. 2) Developing media in Bahasa Indonesia that will target Indonesian youth and adults through public service announcements, booklets, posters, videos, etc. 3) Establishing & managing a competitive local Indonesian award and scholarship programs for conservation curriculum development particularly in habitat areas. 4) Establishing and maintaining a website to distribute information electronically. 5) Producing a periodic newsletter to communicate with supporters. 6) Organizing and hosting conferences, workshops, symposia and seminars for Indonesian educators and government officials.

Training Opportunities: We encourage Indonesian and non-Indonesians from all walks of life and education background and experience to volunteer in developing and delivering educational and awareness raising programs about orangutans and their plight to students of all ages and adults from all walks of life. We can assist them in developing their skills in creating such programs and delivering them in various venues. We also administer the LP Jenkins Memorial Fellowship for graduate level research and education program development, particularly in Sumatra.

We also offer 2-week ecotours to Sumatra through GotoIndo.com. The tours provide an opportunity to become aquainted with the culture and wildlife. Tours are open to the general public.

Financial Aid: Orangutan Caring Scholarships for Indonesian forestry & biology students in N. Sumatra and Aceh/ administered by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, annually.

LP Jenkins Memorial Fellowship/ one fellowship of $1,000 annually.

Number of Staff: 16

Associated Field Sites: Angelina Sondakh, Jakarta, Indonesia- Program Focus: Education and Outreach
Ridhwan Effendi, Jakarta, Indonesia- Chair of the Orangutan Caring Clubs: Education and Outreach
Herman Syahputra,Medan, Indonesia-Chair of the Orangutan Caring Club of North Sumatra: Education, Outreach and Conservation

Publications: Biannual newsletter: Suara Orang Utan (Voice of the Orangutan)

Comments: Most wild orangutans are found in the country of Indonesia. Therefore, in order for the orangutan to be saved from extinction, local Indonesians must become aware of the unique qualities of orangutans, their need for forest habitat to survive, the laws protecting them, and the consequences of illegally buying or owning them. Ultimately, Indonesians must come to value orangutans and other wildlife that live in their country. This will come about through effective and continuous education combined with outreach campaigns conducted by the Indonesians themselves that move and inspire their society to insure the orangutanís long-term survival. At the same time, people outside the habitat countries need to come to better appreciate the orangutan and its role in the tropical ecosystem. OURF, therefore, targets both local and international audiences in programs of conservation education regarding the species and its threatened habitat.

Sumatran Orangutan Crisis

Wild orangutans are all endangered and only found on the islands of Borneo and N. Sumatra. However, the Sumatran species is critically endangered with only 6,700 animals throughout its entire range, according to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (2007).

Additionally, it is estimated that nearly 800 or approximately 10% of the whole population of Sumatran orangutans is being lost each year, primarily as a consequence of rain forest and habitat destruction. At that rate of decline, the species is projected to become extinct in most of its range within 10 years!

The long-term survival of the wild Sumatran orangutan population has been OUREIís priority during its first 5 years. By providing scholarships & fellowships to qualified individuals and grants to local conservation organizations, OUREI and now OURF will continue to apply its resources strategically to transform local attitudes and perceptions about the orangutan in the areas of northern Sumatra.

The Bornean orangutan species also benefits from OURFís mission through national awareness campaigns and continuous education programs.
In 2005, OUREI founders appointed Angelina Sondakh, Miss Indonesia 2001 and member of Parliament, as Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI) Ambassador. Through her commitment as orangutan advocate in the government and with the support of other orangutan conservation organizations, the species now has a compelling voice to address issues impacting their future survival.

Angelina with support of lead staff member, Mr. Ridhwan Effendi, helped organize Club Peduli Orang Utan Indonesia or the Indonesian Orangutan Caring Club. The Club has chapters in Jakarta and North Sumatra and will be launching other chapters in the coming months. These locally organized groups conduct education programs in schools and universities as well as participate in events such as Orangutan Caring Week.

To further develop OUREI's goals of empowering Indonesians to become the main drivers of conservation education programs, OUREI Indonesia was established as a legal Indonesian NGO in mid-2007. Through its Indonesian office, OUREI oversees the activities of the Orangutan Caring Clubs with Ambassador Angelina Sondakh's office, coordinates projects with other organizations, and implements education, outreach and scholarship initiatives being funded by OUREI. OUREI accomplishments continue to grow as concerned people and organizations support its efforts to collaborate, motivate and move the Indonesian public to save the orangutan and its habitat. The ultimate beneficiaries are not only the orangutans, but the people of Indonesia and entire world population who depend on the important ecological services (e.g., oxygen production, carbon sequestration, rainfall patterns) provided by the orangutan's tropical rain forest home.

Last Updated: 2009-06-29


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