Sharing Love for Orangutans for World Orangutan Day

By Petrus Kanisius, Media Coordinator and Environmental Education Officer

Every August 19th is World Orangutan Day (WOD) – a day to support and encourage all of us to care about the fate of this highly endangered primate. This year the theme for World Orangutan Day was “Love for Orangutans.” Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program/Yayasan Palung carried out a number of activities in different geographic areas to commemorate WOD this year.

Our Environmental Education team celebrates World Orangutans Day in one of our Hutan Desa villages, Desa Penjalaan.

World Orangutan Day in North Kayong District

At our Bentangor Environmental Education Center in Pampang Harapan Village, we delivered a lecture to Bentangor Kids about orangutans, their biology, threats they face, and how we can protect them. The kids also watched a series of short videos and learned our song “Si Pongo,” about a young orangutan and his need for the forest.

We held similar events in one of our Hutan Desa villages, Penjalaan Village, with schoolchildren from the Simpang Keramat Kids group there. The event was introduced by Environmental Education Officer Simon Tampubolon and everyone sang together. Widiya, our Environmental Education Manager, presented material about orangutans and their behavior, followed by a screening of short videos about orangutans. The group then learned the Si Pongo song, answered quiz questions about orangutans, and we closed the event with a group photo. The following day, students in Simpang Tiga Village at SDN 8 Siduk had the chance to do the same fun activities to share their love for orangutans.

Nasar, one of our REBONK volunteers, explaining to Bentangor Kids how orangutans are similar and different from other great apes during a World Orangutan Day celebration at our Bentangor Education Center.

Collaborative World Orangutan Day Activities in Pontianak

Some of our staff traveled to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan, to participate in additional World Orangutan Day celebrations there at GAIA Mall Kubu Raya. Yayasan Palung worked together with Titian Lestari Foundation and Keep Earth Borneo to carry out a number of events. We put on one of our orangutan Puppet Shows that featured the Nature Rangers Cadets Conservation Volunteers (RK-TAJAM) and the West Bornean Orangutan Caring Scholarship (WBOCS) recipients. They told about orangutans and their life in the forest to the younger children who also took part in a drawing competition organized by the Titian Lestari Foundation with Keep Earth Borneo.

Riduwan, Environmental Education Officer in our Bentangor office, was also invited to be a guest speaker at the WOD event. Riduwan explained Yayasan Palung as an organization and what we do to conserve orangutans. He also explained the important role of orangutans as forest farmers and orangutans as endangered protected animals.

On August 24th we held a talk show on Radio Kayong Utara (RKU) for World Orangutan Day. Rabina (REBONK Volunteer) and Riduwan discussed the theme “World Orangutan Day 2023”.

Our team putting on a puppet show for children (top) and Riduwan participating in a panel discussion on orangutans (bottom) as part of a large World Orangutan Day celebration event at a mall in Pontianak.

World Orangutan Day in Ketapang Regency

We held World Orangutan Day activities in Ketapang at three schools including SMP Negeri 02 Matan Hilir Selatan, MTs Negeri 02 Matan Hilir Selatan, and SMKN 1 Matan Hilir Selatan. Widiya (Environmental Education Manager), Haning (Environmental Education Officer) and myself, Pit, conveyed messages about what World Orangutan Day is, how it falls on August 19 each year, and why it is important. The students listened to a presentation with information about orangutan behavior and biology. We gave a fun quiz on orangutan facts and a series of environmental films were shown, including orangutan short films and a video about Gunung Palung National Park. We closed out these events with group photos of our enthusiastic students sharing their love for orangutans.

Haning giving a presentation to students in Ketapang as part of a series of lectures commemorating World Orangutan Day 2023.