Providing holistic protection for Sumatran orangutans
Arten- und Naturschutz gelebt
The discovery of the Tapanuli orangutan in 2017 caused quite a stir: it was the first new species of ape to be identified since 1929. ‘At the same time, this meant that the Tapanuli orangutan was the most endangered great ape in the world,’ says Irena Wettstein, Co-Managing Director of PanEco. The charity campaigns for conservation and nature protection, both in Switzerland and Indonesia. When it was founded in 1996, it focused on orangutans in Sumatra.
The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) that PanEco runs in collaboration with its Indonesian sister organisation Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL) takes a holistic approach to protecting the orangutan, an animal at risk of extinction. ‘We want to protect their habitat, tropical rainforests,’ says Irena Wettstein. In addition to protective measures, SOCP’s conservation work for these apes also involves encouraging the formation of new populations and bringing together fragmented populations. Alongside this, SOCP carries out long-term studies of orangutan behaviours and the condition of the rainforest, enabling it to make well-founded statements for its lobbying and PR work.