World’s Largest Privately Funded Orangutan Reserve
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What is the Rimba Raya Biodiversity reserve?
Rimba Raya is a project that promotes the conservation of endangered orangutans.
Rimba Raya is a forest on the southern coast of Borneo and has become a preservation and biodiversity reserve for hundreds of at risk species. The Bornean Orangutan is one of these species. This species has seen a 95% decrease in population over the last century.
One of the main factors to Rimba Raya’s designation as a biodiversity reserve was deforestation. . The destruction of forests eats away at a rate of one acre per minute. Our forests are rich in carbon and must be protected. The deforestation in Indonesia has eaten up forest the size of Belgium in its never ending production for pulp, paper, and palm oil. If deforestation continues at its current pace, there won’t be any forest left in Indonesia at all by the year 2022.
Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve’s Contributions
Rimba Raya’s contributions to the environment include protection of over 640 square kilometers (250 square miles) of tropical peat forest. The biodiversity reserve forms a natural barrier between the palm oil industry’s constant bulldozing and the Tanjung Puting National Park, which is one of the last remaining populations of wild orangutans on earth. The reserve is home to thousands of plant and animal species that live within its tropical peat swamp forests. Each day, forests like Rimba Raya and its biodiversity reserve are completely destroyed in order to make way for palm oil production, which is contained in almost half of all products in pantries. Indonesia is the world’s largest palm oil producers. They plan to double the output over the next few years, which would account for 80% of the world’s consumption. This will rapidly increase the deforestation and contamination of air, soil, and rivers.
Our Commitment to Endangered Species
Our mission is to protect and preserve one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world, the lowland peat swamp forests. We believe that by selling carbon credits based on the rich carbon stores of our biodiversity reserve, we can help contribute to the local economy in many ways: giving access to clean water, providing health services, creating jobs, and helping to foster sustainable growth principles among the locals. At the same time, we are protecting endangered species. The reserve is host to 122 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and 180 kinds of plants and trees. The biodiversity reserve protects all of these species, but we have a special pledge to helping protect the Bornean Orangutan. This endangered species is one of only three remaining species of great apes. They once inhabited tropical forests in Thailand, Southern China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Now they are found only in a few lone forests on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. The bad news? These two areas have some of the highest deforestation rates in the world.
Rimba Raya’s Contribution to the Community
Communities near the reserve live on the edge of poverty and end up having to value short term economic survival rather than think about long term ecological consequences. We at at the reserve provide income to those communities through investments and programs. Our community development programs are also made to meet the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals. These eight goals plan on eradicating poverty by focusing on women and children’s rights and their welfare. Another way that Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve helps the community is by protecting its children from dangerous, potentially lethal waterborne disease. The death rate from these diseases, mostly due to poor sanitation, is over 1.5 million people per year. Water related illnesses claim a child’s life every 21 seconds. Over 2.5 billion people across the world survive without basic sanitation needs. Nearly half of these people are children. The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Foundation has started a project that gives people residing near the reserve a ceramic water filter. The filter has a special coating that sanitizes the water and makes it more safe for drinking.
We work with the Orangutan Foundation International to help create programs that commit to the long term protection of the Bornean Orangutan and Tanjung Putung National Park. With our commitment to protection of these species and the slowing of deforestation, we believes that even these small steps can make a world of difference.