The World Wide Fund for Nature Indonesia
(WWF-Indonesia) today launched a new fundraising drive aimed at financing coordinated efforts to save the dwindling Kalimantan and Sumatran orangutan populations. The environmental organization estimates orangutan numbers in Borneo have dropped by about 55 percent over the last 20 years, with only about 57,000 remaining in the wild today. In Sumatra the situation is even more desperate with estimates putting the population at only 7,500. Poaching, deforestation, climate change and forest fires have all contributed to the dramatic fall in orangutan numbers, WFF-Indonesia said today during the launch of the fundraising campaign called Sahabat Orangutan
(friends of orangutans). “Through the Sahabat Orangutan
program, WWF-Indonesia is opening a door to every individual who wants to indirectly support the orangutan preservation effort by giving donations,” said Linda Sukandar, the organization’s fundraising manager. Acknowledging that such financial aid is desperately needed to continue orangutan preservation programs, she said the effort has “become a very urgent need and is the only priority of WWF-Indonesia.” Donations will be used to fund research on the primates and awareness programs illustrating how important it is to preserve and build up orangutan numbers. Efforts will also be made in building cooperation among local people, authorities and private companies in order to develop orangutan ecotourism.