IPB University Partners Up with Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation

The issue regarding orangutans lately has been a spotlight. The emergence of various problems between humans and orangutans is one of the factors. Orangutans’ deprived habitat, decreasing food source, and dwindling population each year are some of many problems happening in Indonesia. Indonesia has three endemic species of orangutans which became the attention of the world. Two of them come from Sumatra and one from Borneo. According to the data, the population of orangutans in Borneo is 57.350 individuals. There has been a significant decrease from 2007, in which the population reaches 230.000 individuals. IPB University, as a university which deeply cares about animal welfare issues, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an orangutan rescue organization, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF). This partnership is expected to bring many new innovations regarding saving the habitat and genetics of hundreds of orangutans so that they will be avoided from irresponsible hands which will lead to extinction.

This partnership was signed by the Vice Rector in Partnership and Information System, Prof. Dodik Ridho Nurrochmat with the Chief Executive Officer BOSF, Dr. Jamartin Sihite. The partnership encompasses education, research, community service, and orangutan conservation sectors. The event was witnessed by the Dean of Faculty of Forestry, IPB University, Dr. Rinekso Soekmadi, M.Sc.F.Trop, Director of IPB University International Program, Prof Iskandar Zulkarnain Siregar, and other IPB University lecturers and students.

Prof. DOdik Ridho Nurrochmat said that IPB and BOSF together will conduct researches about orangutans’ behavior, breeding, and rehabilitation, so that they can be rescued and returned to their habitat. “We hope that researchers in IPB University can collaborate with BOSF to help conserve orangutans, so the population can be maintained optimally.

Dr. Jamartin Sihite explained how this partnership aims to increase the awareness about the environment, especially about the importance in preserving orangutans’ habitat and population. IPB University has professors and researchers who are expert in forestry, who can synergize with BOFS to help conserve orangutans in Indonesia.

One of the manifestations of this partnership is the conducting of 36th IPB Talks on August 30in Sylva Academic Assembly Room, Dramaga Campus, attended by IPB University students from various disciplines. This routine event presented two orangutan experts from IPB University, Dr. Puji Rianti from Department of Biology and Dr. Dede A. Rahman from the Department of Forest Resource Conservation and Ecotourism. Not only that, Dr. Anton Nurcahyo as a representation from BOSF was also present to deliver some materials.

Dr. Anton explained the steps in orangutan conservation. “Rescued orangutans will be implanted with a chip used for monitoring purposes. After that, a rehabilitation would be done until the animal can be released. Before the release, there should be a training so that the orangutan doesn’t forget its animal instinct. After considered fit for release, it can be returned to its habitat,” said Dr. Anton.

Some of the projects to be done by IPB and BOSF is the study about orangutan genetics. Dr. Puji said that it is important to know orangutans’ genetics. If the study about genetics prevails, a good orangutan database can be made. This will help conservation stakeholders to release orangutans in their real habitat. Besides that, Dr. Dede has a project to create an accurate map of orangutans’ habitat in Batang Toru. Dr. Puji is an orangutan researcher and was a team member who found a new orangutan species in Tapanuli, while Dr. Dede has long been involved in orangutan conservation sector. (Ard)

Published Date : 04-Sep-2019

Resource Person : Prof. Dodik Ridho Nurrochmat

Keyword : Prof. Dodik Ridho Nurrochmat, BOSF, 36th IPB Talk, orangutan