Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project’s (GPOCP) mission is to conserve Bornean orangutan populations and forest habitats in and around Gunung Palung National Park, which contains the largest remaining wild population of the orangutan sub-species.Over the past 10 years, orangutan numbers have dropped 30-50% due to habitat loss, poaching and the illegal pet trade. An important aspect to GPOCP’s approach is to provide opportunities for locals to become involved and invested in their programs, which fosters long-term sustainability. Since 1994, GPOCP has worked with local communities to raise awareness about orangutan protection, national park boundaries and regulations and how deforestation affects humans and wildlife.
Through organic farming and non-timber forest product crafting programs, community members learn new sustainable techniques that benefit both the people and the forest that surrounds them. By providing such opportunities, locals become part of the solution, which fosters long-term sustainability. We can all help by recycling more, seeking out sustainably grown food products and using reclaimed or restored wood and lumber for home projects. Support from Conservation OutREACH has helped GPOCP educate thousands of locals on the ecological significance of orangutans, encourage legislature to protect orangutan habitats and gather vital data on orangutan biology, social organization, and behavior.