We can stop extinction, together - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society
a male sumatran orangutan

Andrew Walmsley

We can stop extinction, together

With the devastating news of the death of the last male northern white rhino, it would be understandable to feel despondent about the fate of the natural world.

However, we want to take a moment to reflect on some recent good news for the conservation movement, and encourage all our friends and supporters to retain your optimism - there are many reasons for hope, and thanks to people like you, Sumatran orangutans, and so many other species, have a brighter future in the wild.

Reason for Hope #1: More orangutans are on their way back to the forest


photo by OIC

Last month, a two year old baby orangutan was rescued from Peunaron village in Aceh. This was the fourth rescue in March.

Whilst the ongoing need to rescue orangutans in danger of course means that a lot more work is needed to keep orangutans and their forests safe, these animals now have a second chance at life in the wild thanks to the dedication and hard work of the frontline organisations, supported by your donations.

There are several NGOs who worked together to bring Baung to safety: Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL) discovered the young orangutan thanks to their team working in this area, and called in the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) to assist with the rescue. Baung was then taken to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), where he will be nurtured back to health, and eventually given the opportunity to return to safe forests.

This spirit of collaboration is a huge asset to the conservation movement in Sumatra, and we’re proud to support these wildlife and forest protection heroes.

Reason for Hope #2: Deforestation rates are dropping

Two young sumatran orangutans hanging out

Nick Tignonsini

New figures released recently by HAkA, a Sumatran NGO, show that deforestation rates within the Leuser Ecosystem dropped by 34% in 2017 compared to the previous year.

The slowdown in forest loss has been attributed to better law enforcement and intensifying campaigns to protect the endangered ecosystem.

With your support, we can keep more forests standing!

Reason for Hope #3: Mining and oil palm expansion halted in Aceh

A baby sumatran orangutan

Zac Mills

The governor of Aceh province, Irwandi Yusuf, has recently extended the moratorium on mining and palm oil permits in the Leuser Ecosystem.

This is a really positive signal that he is committed to enacting his Green Vision for Aceh.

Please show your support for this announcement by signing and sharing the thank you letter to the Governor.

Reason for Hope #4: Reclaiming and Restoring Land for Wildlife

Those gorgeous limited edition orangutan soaps launched by Lush at the end of last year raised £126,014, which has enabled our Indonesian partners, the Orangutan Information Centre, to buy 50 hectares of oil palm plantation land, to reclaim and restore native forest to an area on the edge of the Leuser Ecosystem in Bukit Mas (“Golden Hill”).

Not only that, but a second wave of the #SOSsumatra campaign launched last month, this time in Lush’s Asia Pacific stores in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, with a special SOS Shampoo Bar going on sale. The proceeds will help us buy another 50 hectares, right next to the new restoration site, which will be used as a permaculture demonstration site and conservation training hub. The shampoo bar is made with Sodium Coco-Sulfate, a surfactant that is completely palm-free.

Ecosia Logo

We’re also delighted to announce a new partnership with search engine Ecosia, who are supporting SOS and our partners, Orangutan Information Centre, to plant more than half a million rainforest trees over the next 2 years to restore damaged orangutan habitat in the Leuser Ecosystem!

Reason for Hope #5: We're growing the global movement to protect orangutans, their forests and their future

a young sumatran orangutan

Zac Mills

We now have 191 Orangutan Guardians supporting SOS with a regular monthly donation. A massive thank you to you all!

A regular donation is one of the best ways to help us in our mission to protect orangutans, their forests and their future. This enables us to plan and expand our projects, as well as respond swiftly to any urgent situations on the ground.

Would you like to become an Orangutan Guardian?  It takes just moments to set up a monthly donation online, and your committed support would mean so much to the charity, as we work towards a brighter future for Sumatran orangutans.

an adult and baby sumatran orangutan

We’re making great strides towards realising our vision of a thriving population of Sumatran orangutans living wild and free in their healthy and protected rainforest home.

We are so grateful to all our supporters for the part that you’ve played so far, and sincerely hope you’ll continue to stand alongside us as we build a brighter future for Sumatran orangutans and their forests.

Thank you.

An adult sumatran orangutan

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