Battle against devasting fires continues

Ou Trop 2

Orangutan Appeal UK continues to support invaluable work fire-fighting in Kalimantan, Borneo. On-the-ground teams are ever more critical to protect the largest surviving population of the Bornean orangutan.

At risk from illegal logging, arson and poaching, the Sabangau region of Kalimantan is a desperately defended stronghold for critically endangered orangutans. As a globally-significant carbon store and rich in biodiversity, this forest is an area of major conservation importance.

Fire-fighting teams are crucial to protect this natural sanctuary, especially following the unprecedented destruction of the 2015 fires across South East Asia. Susan Sheward MBE, founder of Orangutan Appeal UK, has supported the work of the Borneo Nature Foundation’s OuTrop project since 2012. Renewed funding from the charity equips a Community Patrol team of fire-fighters in preparation for emergency situations. Six permanent and 30 part time members are instrumental in not only fighting fire but patrolling the precious forest for illegal activity.

OuTrop director Dr Mark Harrison said
“With support from OAUK, we will support the fire-fighting efforts through providing equipment, supplies and drone technology to help spot and tackle fires, thus protecting the forest and its orangutan population”.

Through this partnership, it is expected that 80,000 hectares of vital peat-swamp forest and an estimated 2,000 orangutans can be protected against fire. With help from Orangutan Appeal UK, the teams on the ground can be as best prepared as possible to tackle the fires. It is ever more critical to protect this remarkable ecosystem and its globally important population of vulnerable orangutans.


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