Saturday, 23 October 2010

Orangutan Land Trust

OLT - Orangutan Land Trust is the new charity kid on the block. In a previous post I said: '... nursing Orangutans back to health until they can go back into the wild again.' Problem being: There is not a lot of 'wild' left over where they could go. And the bit that is still there is destroyed at the speed of light.

So Michelle Desilets who a good 10 years ago founded BOS-UK just recently set out to tackle this problem and founded Orangutan Land Trust. Her aim is to raise money to secure the land for the charity and to make it untouchable. Just $5 one hectar of forest can be preserved for 20 years.

One has to remember that palm oil is big money, and big money can buy everything. Governments might declare a plot as safe, but if cash is needed, they only care little about Orangutans or whether or not global warming will kick our bums. So far the places Lone Droscher-Nielsen, Michelle's partner in Borneo running the Nyaru Menteng sanctuary, managed to release Orangutans into, are almost inaccessible so not very interesting for the logging companies. It however costs immense effort and money to reach these places with boxed up Orangutans.

Nevertheless, in September 2009 46 Orangutans went back into the wild - 46 of 600 that is: Just to give you an idea about the dimensions we are talking about. Those 600 are living in Nyaru Menteng, which is the biggest rescue operation in the world, but there are many more living in other projects.

So history repeats itself a bit: While Lone is keeping things together in Nyary Menteng, Michelle is doing the fundraising, just this time with a bit of a different focus.

But not just that: Additionally OLT is to provide a platform for Orangutan organisations around the world to work together towards a common cause.

For me all of the above is a good reason to put Orangutan Land Trust up on our menu board, and of course I met her on Twitter (@orangutans)

PS: In October 2009 I decided to make OLT Incredible Ladies main charity. On occasion and on request we will take action on behalf of other charities as well, but my personal focus will stay on OLT.

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