Celebrating World Orangutan Day 2022

By Haning Pertiwi, Environmental Education & Conservation Awareness Officer

August 19th was World Orangutan Day (WOD)! Last year, in 2021, due to the pandemic, our activities for WOD were carried out in a simple way, and almost all online. But this year, since most daily activities have returned to normal here in West Kalimantan, Yayasan Palung (GPOCP) celebrated World Orangutan Day with a variety of in-person activities throughout the region.

Our Environmental Education and Conservation Awareness Program held the World Orangutan Day 2022 events in collaboration with Yayasan Palung’s conservation youth group volunteers (RK-TAJAM and REBONK). One of our major objectives in the Ketapang and Kayong Utara regencies is to invite people to care about and protect the environment together, and encourage the community to preserve one of the extraordinary species, orangutans. Campaign activities are often carried out during the commemoration of special days nationally and internationally.

World Orangutan Day 2022 in Ketapang

Yayasan Palung and RK-TAJAM conducted campaign activities for the community and young people in Ketapang by holding a special day with the theme “Orangutan Independence Movement” which was held on August 19th. The purpose of this activity was to raise awareness among young people in Ketapang Regency about the important role of orangutans in the rainforest ecosystem and their connection with humans. The activities carried out included a coloring contest, puppet show, puzzle contest, learning the Si Pongo song, an orangutan quiz, and a Guess the Picture game.

Young students pose with their prizes from the WOD coloring contest, alongside their teachers and RK-TAJAM volunteers.

World Orangutan Day 2022 in Kayong Utara

In the Kayong Utara Regency, activities to commemorate WOD 2022 were held in Padu Banjar Village in Simpang Hillir District, from August 20th-21st. All activities were carried out by Yayasan Palung, REBONK youth group volunteers, members of nature lovers clubs from two local high schools, and members of the Customary Forest Management Board (LPHD) of Banjar Lestari Customary Forest, Padu Banjar Village.

REBONK youth group volunteers pose in the Bajar Lestari forest with signs they created for WOD.

Padu Banjar (and the Banjar Lestari Customary Forest) is located within the Sungai Paduan Peat Protection Forest – an area of 6,788 hectares which we have helped to get designated as customary forest land. Padu Banjar Village manages 2,883 ha of this area, which is peat swamp forest and a comfortable habitat for orangutans to live in.

During this two-day event in Padu Banjar, we held many activities. On the first day, we had a community discussion about World Orangutan Day, covering topics such as why we want to commemorate this day, and the relationship between the community, the forest and this special day. Additionally, Pak Samsidar (head of the Banjar Lestari LPHD) presented educational material about peat swamp forests.

On the second day, we carried out a forest rehabilitation activity, planting 100 new seedlings in an area that was previously burned from forest fires. This tree planting activity helped to motivate volunteers and the community, and demonstrate that maintaining and preserving the forest is very important for future generations and the preservation of wildlife.

We hope you all had a happy World Orangutan Day this year!

Volunteers and Padu Banjar village members plant tree seedlings in an area of land previously subject to forest fires.