Numerous Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and groups have emerged especially over the past 15 years in response to the disappearing orangutan population. Some of these organisations include “Orang Utan Republik Foundation”, “Sumatran Orangutan Society”, “Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia”, “Orangutan Conservancy” and not to forget “World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)” which was actually founded over 50 years ago and actively works on global issues regarding conservation of the environment, it is also one of the largest international NGOs. Some of these NGOs originate within Borneo and Sumatra while many others originate from neighbouring countries such as Australia.
Due to the lack of government action to address the issue of conservation of orangutans and their habitat, these organisations have formed to not only raise funds for such a cause but also to create much awareness among people not only in Indonesia but also all over the world through the social media. Many of these NGOs also encourage people to get involved and play a part in these conservation efforts.
Local NGOs such as Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF), founded in 2004, carry out both education as well as conservation initiatives. Initiatives such as the annual Orangutan Caring Week, Community Outreach Programmes and School Partnership Programmes are all highly effective ways in which the community can be reached out to and educated on the pressing issues of the conservation of orangutans. Through these programmes, conservation messages are brought to schools, government offices and the community-at-large through formal and informal forum sessions. By sending the message across and pressing the government to change their attitude towards the conservation of the forests and orangutans, these efforts may prove fruitful one day. Conservation initiatives carried out by OURF include tree-planting programmes whereby OURF actually works with the provincial Forestry Departments to distribute and plant trees as part of a government and non-government sponsored programme. These conservation programmes help to further create awareness and with such initiatives and pressures from many NGOs such as OURF, it would be impossible to ignore these issues.
NGOs are a really good platform for individuals to voice out how they feel about certain issues pertaining to the environment. Various ideas can also be put into action with the funding to support the various initiatives introduced. Well, of course there are limitations to how much an NGO can do in the issues of conservation of orangutans. NGOs’ main role, however, it not to be able to solve the problem and stop the decline in numbers of orangutans. Their main role has always been to educate and empower the local people, through creating awareness, to step out of their comfort zones and to take action. As long as the pressure on the government is kept high, there will be a chance they finally decided to take the issue seriously.