NGO founded: 1996
Partnership formed: 2008
Organisation’s aim: To find solutions for Orang-utan conservation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. French organisation, HUTAN was initially established to do the first comprehensive study of stakeholder consultation for the area. In collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department, HUTAN runs the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project (KOCP).
HUTAN was founded as a small research organisation looking into the local reasons for the decline in the Orang-utans. Based at a small research station, HUTAN's findings were used by the Sabah Wildlife Department to implement a conservation strategy for the species in the area. The organisation has grown and now liaises with numerous organisations and individuals that are interested in the conservation of the area, including NGOs, local communities and the government.
Partnership with WLT
WLT was introduced to HUTAN while on a site visit to Borneo to assess the feasibility of WLT working with another Bornean partner, LEAP Spiral. A partnership was formed between WLT and both Malaysian organisations.
Projects with WLT
HUTAN works in partnership with LEAP Spiral and WLT on the Borneo Orang-utan Appeal, to create wildlife corridors in the Kinabatangan floodplain. The aim is to create a contiguous habitat for Orang-utans and other wildlife, whose forests are being devastated by the worldwide demand for palm oil.
WLT has funded a reserve ranger with HUTAN as part of their Honorary Wildlife Wardens programme.
Other projects and activities
- Research to identify the complex threats facing the local Orang-utan populations, called the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project (KOCP);
- KOCP carried out the first research of Orang-utans living in secondary forest, habitat that has previously been disturbed;
- Members of KOCP are appointed Honorary Wildlife Wardens (HWW) by the Sabah state Government;
- Setting up the first community-based ecotourism project in Malaysia, Red Ape Encounters, which is now run by the local community of Sukau;
- Running an Environmental Awareness Project (HEAP) for rural communities;
- Reforestation of wildlife corridors to benefit Orang-utans and other wildlife;
- Community work, such as helping local fishermen to develop new synthetic nets to replace ones that caused widespread death of key tree species.