Spreading Conservation Awareness Near and Far

By Terri Breeden, GPOCP Program Director
This October, GPOCP has been busy spreading education and awareness about orangutans and forest conservation. West Kalimantan had the pleasure of hosting part of the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia event. This event began with sailors leaving harbors in Australia and spending the next three months exploring some of the many islands throughout Indonesia. While in Ketapang, the sailors were treated to an array of different types of Dayak dance. But the main event was held in Sukadana and called Sail Karimata. During the event, there was an exposition fair set up with a wide range of activities and events. Of course there were the traditional fair activities with games, rides and food. There was also live music ranging from traditional Indonesian music to modern pop and dance music. The main tent held an array of local businesses, with goods and services displayed from all parts of West Kalimantan.
A school group stops by the GPOCP tent at Sail Karimata to learn more about our program.
GPOCP had the honor to set up a tent for this event near the main stage. With this prime location we were able to interact and meet guests from many parts of Indonesia and beyond. We took this opportunity to reach out to the many visitors that came to our booth and to educate them about our conservation and research programs and the impacts we are making on the local community. Many people were interested to learn more about our Hutan Desa(or customary forest) program. We also explained how local communities are interested in protecting their local forests and how our Sustainable Livelihoods team teaches these villages how to practice better agricultural techniques that will eliminate the need to turn more rainforest into farmland. We also work with villagers to develop Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) and our NTFP artisans were invited to give a demonstration of how they make their products and their bags were given out as part of the VIP gifts.
Some of the GPOCP artisans displaying their NTFP products and how they are made at the Sail Karimata event.
The main attraction of the Sail Karimata event was the appearance of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, on Saturday morning. Some of our staff and youth volunteers even had the thrilling opportunity to meet him.
GPOCP Youth Volunteer, Dwika, with Joko Widodo, the President of the Republic of Indonesia.
The Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program was happy to be a part of the Sail Karimata event and to be able to educate people throughout all parts of Indonesia about the importance of conserving orangutans and local forests.
GPOCP Governing Board member, Pak Dadan Kusnandar (right), stopped by the GPOCP tent during the Sail Karimata event.