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Stakeholders collaborate for Salat Island orangutan reserve

Salat Island is a pre-release site for orangutans who have graduated from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. The orangutan island reserve was established through a partnership between Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS-F) and PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, as there was a need to provide more pre-release sites for the animals.

Stakeholders unite under common goal

Some may say it’s an unlikely partnership; a non-profit organisation teaming up with a publicly listed palm oil company. However, it’s a wonderful demonstration of how seemingly adversarial stakeholders can come together to create an ethical and sustainable solution for rehabilitating orangutans and enabling their return to their natural habitats.

Established in 1991, BOS-F is an Indonesian non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of the Bornean orangutan and its habitat. They are the largest orangutan rehabilitation foundation in the world, currently caring for around 700 orangutans across all of their facilities. PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana bought 1,434 hectares (ha) of land around the current Salat Island site, which has extended the total conservation area to more than 2,000 ha. Both BOS-F and PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana are members of the RSPO.

Pre-release sites key to orangutan rehabilitation

The orangutans of Salat Island undergo a lengthy process of rehabilitation before they can be released back into their natural habitat. The rehabilitation process can take up to seven years, starting in “baby school” and working through different levels (much like a human school system) until the orangutans are ready for reintroduction to their natural habitat. The final part of the rehabilitation process takes place on natural islands where the orangutans have the opportunity to live in an environment similar to their natural habitat in the forest, but where their adaptation can be adequately monitored to ensure they are ready for reintroduction.

The video below was launched at the RSPO European Roundtable conference in London last year. Please watch the video to discover more about the admirable partnership between BOS-F and PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana.