Conservation Project

We aim to help conserve the environment and the species within it through conservation and awareness raising
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Our Mission:

Orangutan and gorilla conservation are our main focus, working alongside 2 NGOs, one that works to protect gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an orangutan conservation charity in Sumatra, Indonesia.

What we do

We have chosen two causes that are the most pressing right now; orangutan and gorilla conservation, and the forests that they inhabit. Forests are some of the most precious landscapes on the planet, not only are they the most biodiverse, but they are also the earth’s lungs and provide essential protection against the negative impacts of our way of life that is polluting and changing our climate and ecosystems. The tragic plight of these two amazing primates, is a direct consequence of the damage we are doing to the forests of our planet, and also to the people in some of the poorest areas of the world.

 

There are seven species of Great-Apes who sadly are ALL on the IUCN’s Red List as ‘Critically Endangered’. Bornean, Sumatran and Tapanuli orangutans, and Eastern Lowland Gorillas are four of these who desperately need protecting. This is the last step on the list before extinction, which clearly means we have passed all earlier red flags and are now needing absolute urgency and immediate action, to ensure the worst does not come to fruition. In many circumstances such as with mountain gorillas, with this urgent action, we were able to slow the decline and actually start increasing the numbers of the species, albeit marginally and from a dangerously low number of 880 individuals remaining. This means it is possible. Sadly not for all, as we watched in 2018 as the last white rhino remaining in the wild passed away. This is not reversible; once they’re gone, they’re gone, and species loss is devastating and must be avoided at all costs.

As part of setting the foundation of this conservation work, we are currently working alongside 2 NGOs, one that works to protect gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an orangutan conservation charity in Sumatra, Indonesia.

GORILLAS

There are two species of gorilla; the Eastern and Western Gorilla, and both are critically endangered. These two species are also separated into two sub-species, the Western Gorilla has the Western Lowland Gorilla and the Cross-River Gorilla, and the Eastern Gorilla has the Eastern Lowland Gorilla and the Mountain Gorilla. We are supporting the species that is endemic to Eastern-DRC, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla. It is the species declining at the fastest rate and we have already seen a reduction of 77% in the last 20 years from 17,000 down to a possible 3,800 left now. That’s in one generation, which is both shocking and worrying.

Strong Roots; is an NGO based in Eastern-DRC. Their mission, as well as ours, is to halt the decline and protect the critically endangered Eastern-Lowland Gorilla, otherwise known as Grauer’s Gorilla, who are endemic to Eastern-DRC. Their conservation strategy uniquely works with local indigenous people; empowering and supporting them to create protected areas to help both people and nature. Through this they support development of alternative livelihoods and poverty reduction,  to ensure that humans and Great-Apes can live in harmony. Noticing and respecting the link between people and nature has been shown to be one of the most successful routes to effective conservation, and Strong Roots have directly influenced an increase in population in the area that they have worked in with their creative and inclusive methods. 

Our Founder Suzie, has recently been volunteersing for Strong Roots in Bukavu, DRC, lending conservation expertise, communications skills and her enthusiasm for protecting nature to their vital work (you can find out more about Suzie’s volunteer work here)

From Strong Roots’ experience we can learn all about what needs to be done to protect this majestic giant and help to try to gain more support for this work, as well as creating a partnership to help nature and local people in DRC, who are among some of the poorest in the world.

What can you do to help the Gorillas

If you would like to support our work to save the largest primate on earth, please consider donating; the funds raised go directly to paying for a much needed monitoring project that Strong Roots is currently organising so that we can see the actual state of the population of Grauer’s Gorillas, and from there know how best to help them. This has never been done in this area and the gorillas go almost completely unmonitored, making it easier for them to disappear of the face of the earth undetected. This monitoring project needs funds, we need YOUR HELP!

ORANGUTANS

There are 3 species of orangutans, the Bornean, Sumatran and Tapanuli Orangutan, which are all endemic to Sumatra or Borneo, in Malaysia and Indonesia.

It is estimated that within 5 years, orangutans may all be extinct in the wild, and if that doesn’t wake us up, I don’t know what will. Palm oil is the cause; the plantations of this widely used oil are decimating the face of Indonesia, wiping out huge swathes of rainforest each minute, to meet the demand. It is used in many everyday products from toothpaste to biscuits, to shampoo and crisps and WE are funding this with our consumer choices. We really have to take responsibility, spread the message and do something about it, RIGHT NOW.

How can you help the Orangutans?

As Blondesuzie mentions in her blog we can make informed buying choices and help to reduce the demand. Here are some apps and websites that can help us know what we should avoid if we want this problem out of our cupboards and bathrooms:

 

https://www.buycott.com/

https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil

www.shoppalmoilfree.co.uk

https://orangutan.org/rainforest/the-effects-of-palm-oil/

https://orangutan.org/palmoil/

https://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/palmoil#DownloadYourCopy (Palm oil in the Congo Basin)

 

We will be working in Sumatra with Orang Utan Republik early next year, to directly support this project please donate so that we are able to do more on the ground when we are there.

The world we live in

Our planet faces many threats, and all of them are because of humans. This is sad, but also has an enormous upside – this means that we have the power to stop it! Through collective individual and group action, we CAN change the world and halt the things that are threatening to destroy species, forests, us, and our home; planet earth.

Some amazing creatures to brighten your day

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Who are we?

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

If you have any questions or comments we would be very happy to hear from you. You can fill in the form below or alternatively email us independently

suzie@bethechange-international.org

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