In conjunction with the Forestry Police of West Kalimantan, information is collected about illegal pet orangutans, orangutan trade or where a wild orangutan is causing disturbance by getting too close to human areas or human areas expanding into orangutan habitat. Whilst collecting information, awareness is spread in the communities about the impact and importance of orangutan conservation.
The areas highly affected by illegal hunting, pet trade, human-orangutan conflicts and clearing of orangutan habitat, are usually very remote villages far from the city. Due to a lack of education, locals are usually not aware of the importance of maintaining the natural balance of the forests and orangutans, as well as knowledge about legalities regarding wildlife. This lack of education combined with a low economic growth that is focused on short-term thinking, usually mean orangutan and forest conservation are not a priority.
For that reason, SOC together with the forestry police (BKSDA) provide and spread information about the law affecting wildlife and forests, benefits of having a forest, the importance of maintaining the forest and the wildlife, the impact of forest clearing and hunting orangutans, alternative sources of income from the forests in a sustainable way and related material regarding orangutan and forest conservation. Through this we aim to increase awareness of how crucial it is to care for the forest and wildlife to reduce and prevent more harm to the orangutans and their habitat.
Whilst educating people and spreading awareness, we also collect information about locations of possible orangutan in captivity, traders, and other info that can support the orangutan conservation program.
When it has come to the attention of the authorities that an orang-utan is being kept in captivity, we accompany the Forestry Police to assist in evacuating the orangutan and bring them to our facilities in Sintang. We try to persuade the owner to voluntarily hand over the orangutan by explaining regulation about orangutan protection, benefits of orangutans in the wild, the important part they play in the ecosystem, and the health and safety impact when orangutans are kept as a pet. By having the people voluntarily handing over the orangutan, we create a positive and open relationship with the people. That way the word spreads and they can even assist us in finding other orangutans, instead of secretly poaching a new orangutan from the forest.