Archive | May 2014

Lions Club Solo

Lions Club Solo

A rather dark picture but just possible to make out SOCP Director Dr Ian Singleton (over on far right) talking to the Indonesian National Lions Club Convention this morning in Solo, Java, about orangutans, the SOCP, and in particular the exciting plans for the Orangutan Haven project. Those in the know will recognise Leuser, Gober and the twins on the screen!

As the Orangutan Haven develops we very much hope to garner the support of groups such as the Lions club, who are especially active in the North Sumatra and Medan area. A great opportunity to engage some well meaning and well connected people today, and lay the ground for future collaboration we hope.

For more details of the Orangutan Haven concept visit http://www.earth4orangutans.com/e4o/index.htm

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Climbing Kilimanjaro – if want tp help me please check this link out!

Climbing Kilimanjaro – if want tp help me please check this link out!

Africa’s highest mountain has become a beacon for climate change because the famous snows of Kilimanjaro are melting. I’m climbing ‘Kili’ with a team from the PATT Foundation to raise awareness of climate change and raise funds for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme http://www.sumatranorangutan.org and these two critical causes are connected.

After meeting up with Andy Steel and Ian Redmond (all three of us from Hull, UK) over a few drinks at the COP 13 climate change summit in Bali way back in 2007 I enthusiastically agreed to climb Kilimanjaro to try and raise awareness of global warming. And then forgot all about it, only to be contacted by Andy a couple of months ago with a message saying “how about July Ian”!! At first the idea seemed a bit daunting, but given a little time to calm down and think, I could now not be more enthusiastic and looking forward to this exciting challenge. Indeed, Kilimajaro couldn’t be more suitable, given that its once perpetual snow covered summit is likely to be completely melted, in as little as 5 or 6 more years.

This comes at a time, too, when our own work at the SOCP is faced with numerous serious challenges due to inappropriate planning in the province of Aceh, Sumatra, and the very real threat of the destruction and fragmentation of huge tracts of the Leuser Ecosystem, home to around 85% of all remaining wild Sumatran orangutans, by new roads and new timber, mining and plantation concessions. In fact,the level of threat is such that it is totally realistic to say that the existence of viable wild populations of not only Sumatran orangutans, but also sumatran elephants, rhinos and tigers too, in 20 years time, hangs on decisions being made in Government, here, RIGHT NOW!

So never have I felt more compelled to tackle an event such as this and to make it work; to raise awareness of climate change AND of the very real threat of destruction of the vitally important Leuser Ecosystem and all its unique biodiversity. Actually the two issues really do intersect right now. Conservation of many species will depend on their ability to adapt and cope with climate change, and this in turn depends on such things as the extent and altitudinal gradient and continuity of the habitat as temperatures increase. So basically I have never been more ready, and willing to tackle a challenge like this and get these issues out into the global arena. I just hope I am also “able”!

See also video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQTd02cFHpI

NOTE: For technical reasons this page links to the PATT Foundation but 100% of donations made here will go to the SOCP in Sumatra. Many thanks if you can help support us.