Our Conservation Goals: Protect - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society

Our Conservation Goals: Protect

Last week we shared with you our Conservation Greenprint in which we shared our three goals: Protect, Connect and Rewild orangutan landscapes

Today we explore: Protect

Our Goal: Standing forests kept secure and stable, viable wild orangutan populations sustained. 

Working alongside our frontline partners, local authorities and forest-edge communities, by 2030 we aim to contribute to the protection of 1.8 million hectares of orangutan habitat.

We will support Indonesia’s efforts to achieve zero deforestation by 2030, in line with their climate commitments made during COP26.

Orangutan numbers on Sumatra have fallen to fewer than 14,000 Sumatran orangutans and 800 Tapanuli orangutans. By contributing to the protection of their habitat, we will enhance the stability of wild orangutan populations, and support their recovery.

Orangutans are amazing creatures deserving protection in their own right, but there are also practical reasons to conserve them. Without the rainforest they cannot thrive in the wild, and without them the forest would lose a key ‘gardener’ which helps to maintain the health and resilience of the ecosystem.

Orangutans share their habitat with many other unique and globally-threatened animals such as the Sumatran tiger, rhino and elephant, as well as countless birds, insects and other creatures. So, protecting orangutans as a flagship species also protects thousands of other species – the entire biodiversity of the tropical rainforest.

These forests also perform vital ecosystem services for communities around them and further afield. They act as crucial watersheds, absorbing huge amounts of rainfall and releasing it steadily to ensure a regular water supply downstream whilst reducing the risks of floods, landslides and soil erosion. The rainforest also supports agriculture by regulating the local climate and providing many resources which can be harvested sustainably by forest-edge communities.

At a global level, Sumatra’s intact rainforests and the soil below them are huge carbon sinks. Protecting orangutan habitat is a vital natural climate solution that will help to achieve Indonesia’s goal to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, as part of the country’s 2030 climate targets.

To find out more about our goals to 2030 dive into our Conservation Greenprint here.

An adult sumatran orangutan

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