SSMS Collaborates with FORTASBI and APKSM to Protect Orangutans on Salat Island


PT. Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS) Tbk., and the BOS Foundation have relocated 3 orangutans who have completed the rehabilitation phase at the Nyaru Menteng Forest School to proceed to the pre-release stage of rehabilitation in the Salat Island Cluster, Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan.


The three orangutans transferred consisted of 2 males (Lantang, Junior) and 1 female (Paraca). They have undergone a long rehabilitation process in Forest School and are now considered ready to undergo the next stage on a pre-release island before being released into the forest.


In this transfer activity, SSMS together with the BOS Foundation collaborated with FORTASBI Indonesia (Forum of Sustainable Palm Oil Smallholders) and the Association of Independent Palm Oil Farmers (APKSM) to be involved and contribute to the operational costs of orangutans in the orangutan pre-release program.


Head of Sustainability SSMS Henky Satrio said that the collaboration between SSMS, BOS Foundation, FORTASBI, and APSKM was the first step in involving independent oil palm smallholders. The aim is to educate farmers on the importance of orangutan protection as part of forest protection. "The existence of Salat Island as a pre-release island is a new breakthrough and a good solution in efforts to save endangered orangutans in Central Kalimantan. And the involvement of FORTASBI and APSKM can inspire palm oil industry players and other parties related to oil palm plantations so that more parties synergize," he explained.


On the same occasion, Head of Secretariat FORTASBI, Rukaiyah expressed his gratitude to SSMS and the BOSF Foundation for providing opportunities for independent smallholders to contribute to orangutan protection. "APKSM is a pioneer, they set aside funds from the sale of their RSPO credits to support the operational costs of 1 individual orangutan for the next one year and hope that it will continue. In addition, FORTASBI also participates in supporting the operational costs of 1 individual orangutan".


"This is the perfect collaboration, where companies, NGOs, and independent farmers join hands to save orangutans. FORTASBI hopes that this can be an inspiration for other FORTASBI member independent farmers. Imagine if all our members, numbering 47 groups, could contribute to the orangutan feed, This would have a positive impact, not only on orangutans but also on the welfare of the surrounding community as orangutan feed providers on Salat Island," he explained.


APKSM Group Manager, Widodo who had the opportunity to open an orangutan cage said that the trip to Salat Island amazed him, and realized how important orangutans are in maintaining forest balance and forest conservation.


On behalf of RSPO-certified independent smallholder associations, Widodo also thanked SSMS and the BOS Foundation for their involvement in the pre-release program. They will continue to be involved not only this year but also in the years to come


After this transfer, the total number of orangutans on Salat Island will be 38 individuals. Here they develop all survival skills and hone natural behaviours until it is time to return to the true forest, following 49 other orangutans from the island who have already been released into Bukit Baka Raya National Park.