SOS ValuesOur organisational values and what they mean to us.
The threats facing orangutans and their habitat are real and urgent, but we know there is hope. We are optimistic about the future for orangutans and their forests because we have seen what can be achieved through dedicated conservation efforts. We believe that optimism and positivity are much more powerful agents for gathering support and effecting long-term change, than fear, resignation or cynicism. We reflect this optimism in our communications to enable our supporters and donors to hope for a positive future too.
Conservation is complicated and there are many obstacles to overcome in planning and implementing projects that really work. When an obstacle arises, we find a way around it, calling on our skills and networks to help us find a way to achieve our goals.
We are equally determined in pursuing our fundraising and advocacy objectives and in building and maintaining positive, productive relationships and partnerships with donors and supporters.
Everyone can have a positive impact on orangutan conservation; it’s not just about people with degrees and NGO jobs. In fact, to address the challenges of orangutan conservation, we need a united approach, both in terms of our collaboration with people in Sumatra, and wider collaborating across the globe. We aim to unite people from around the world to care and act to give Sumatran orangutans a future. Building positive consensus and building effective and influential alliances and partnerships will allow us to achieve much more, much faster, than working on our own.
Everything we do is done with respect for orangutans, their habitat and the people living near it. We do not harm them with the projects we support or with our communications about our work, and we conduct due diligence on any partner or collaborator to ensure they also have respect for both humans and nature.
We also have the utmost respect for our donors, supporters and partners, particularly in relation to their privacy and communication preferences, and in also acknowledging their contributions to our cause whether large or small, financial or otherwise.
Orangutans are unique, precious and irreplaceable. We feel they are something to be cherished, and our work – protecting them and helping them to thrive – reflects that.
We also cherish and nurture our donor and supporter relationships, recognising that their priorities and objectives may not be the same, or as immediate as our own. They are our family and we can achieve nothing without them.
Orangutans and the rainforests they live in cannot thrive unless people around respect their value and are helped and guided to live in harmony with nature. Imagining, advocating for and creating a world where all parties, whether local communities, governments, agencies or corporate interests, recognise that a long-term harmonious, respectful and protective relationship with the rainforest and all its inhabitants is more beneficial and valuable than a short-term exploitative approach, is a fundamental part of our identity.
SOS Statement on Anti-Racism and Intersectional Environmentalism
One of Sumatran Orangutan Society’s values is Respect – Everything we do is done with respect for orangutans, their habitat and the people living near it. We do not harm them with the projects we support or with our communications about our work, and we conduct due diligence on any partner or collaborator to ensure they also have respect for both humans and nature.
As a conservation and environmental charity, we need to acknowledge that Western conservation models were born from colonialism and that we must not perpetuate colonial attitudes or allow the initiatives we support to harm people’s rights or freedoms.
We know that this also needs to go beyond the work we do in Sumatra. Environmental injustice and social injustice are inextricably linked, and charities like SOS must not allow social injustice to be overlooked in the pursuit of environmental progress.
The SOS staff, board and volunteers stand in solidarity with Black people, Indigenous people and People of Colour. We commit to being proactively anti-racist and to educating ourselves on the ways we can use our privilege to advocate for social justice.
We encourage our supporters to engage with anti-racism and intersectional environmentalism. Here are some of the people and organisations we’re learning from: