The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is a collaborative programme of Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL, Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation), with support from its Swiss partner the PanEco Foundation, and the Indonesian Government’s Directorate General of Natural Resource and Ecosystems Conservation. The SOCP works on all aspects of orangutan conservation including:
- Rescue, quarantine and reintroduction of illegal pet orangutans to form new, genetically viable and self-sustaining wild populations
- Surveys and monitoring of remaining wild populations
- Research on conservation and behavioural ecology of wild orangutans
- Habitat conservation
- Conservation education and awareness raising
A major focus of the SOCP is its specialist Orangutan Quarantine Centre near Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Since its completion in 2002, the centre has confiscated and cared for over 430 orangutans. Today, more than 190 individuals have been released to the wild at the SOCP’s Orangutan Reintroduction Centre in the rainforests of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, near Jambi in central Sumatra, and 130 at a second Reintroduction Centre in the Jantho Pine Forest Nature Reserve in Aceh, near the northern tip of the island.
With these reintroductions, two entirely new, genetically viable and self-sustaining wild populations of this Critically Endangered species are being established in Jambi and Jantho, areas that historically did once harbour wild orangutans, but did not in more recent times.
Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation) is registered as an NGO in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Its mission is to preserve the environment with sustainable benefits for the whole community. YEL has a strong commitment to achieve its vision through the following programmes:
- Promotion and endorsement of nature conservation in Indonesia;
- Improvement of community awareness and concern towards a sustainable environment;
- Planning and implementation of appropriate management of environmental education and nature conservation programmes in the context of the orangutan and development of eco-tourism;
- Provision of support and endorsement of environmental conservation;
- Provision of humanitarian aid.
YEL operates the Bohorok Environmental Education Centre (PPLH Bohorok), the Ecolodge in Bukit Lawang, the Orangutan Haven, and with support from the PanEco, Foundation, the SOCP.