Spring 2016 Grants Seek to Preserve Indonesian Forests; Protect Captive Apes

March 21, 2016
Working to preserve large swaths of Indonesian forest for oil-palm cultivation, pulp and paper plantations, and associated infrastructure is the aim of several grants in Arcus’ spring 2016 Great Apes Program portfolio. Several grantees have come together in proposing alternatives to the Aceh Spatial Plan in defense of Aceh province’s profoundly biodiverse Leuser Ecosystem, which is home to 85 percent of the world’s remaining Sumatran orangutans as well as gibbons, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants.

The PanEco Foundation received funding to lead a consortium of six nongovernmental organizations over three years to improve the effectiveness of conservation in this area, reduce wildlife crime, and ensure habitat restoration. The Canopy Planet Society, which has highlighted the relationship of the paper and clothing industries to forest conservation in the Leuser Ecosystem, received funds to advocate against the spatial plan and develop an alternative conservation-based process. That process would include a conservation financing system and an end to the use of endangered forest fiber in the global viscose staple fiber supply chain. Funds to the Rainforest Action Network will help the group investigate supply-chain practices and train investigators to highlight companies that destroy lowland rainforests and peatlands.

The organization The Save the Chimps, a longtime Arcus grantee and critical sanctuary for chimpanzees retired from U.S. medical research, received funding to continue on the path to long-term organizational sustainability.

To continue its successful orangutan reintroduction and monitoring in Malaysia, Orangutan Appeal UK received a grant for its Tabin Orangutan Post-Release Monitoring Project. Funding will help the group train staff, rehabilitate captive orangutans, and collect post-release behavioral and ecological data.

The Waxman Strategies, a progressive public affairs firm that works on conservation and other justice issues, plans to put its grant toward protection of African great ape and gibbon habitat in the face of agricultural expansion. The organization aims to work directly to promote adoption of strong deforestation measures and to collaborate with the Gabonese government to ensure that industry protects high-conservation and high-carbon stock land and respects the rights of forest communities.

Funding was also provided to The Born Free USA, The Friends of Bonobos, Friends of CSWCT, Nonhuman Rights Project, Planet Indonesia, and University of Kent for the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology.