Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Orangutan Preservation in Indonesia

by Gillian Bradshaw

Betsy Yaap
Betsy Yaap, Bob Yaap's daughter, visited us from Indonesia today, along with her family, including her sons James and Robert. She took us on an amazing journey of her life in Thailand, Australia, Borneo, and Indonesia where she has been working to preserve the habitat of orangutans and other wildlife, as land is developed for agriculture.

She explained that they survey the animals' home range and identify areas where plantations can be developed, leaving corridors for the wildlife. She consults with businesses on sustainable development and teaches children about the abundant life in their "backyard" forests.

While visiting the remote villages, where the natives live entirely off the land, she helps to educate them in protecting the environment and how harmful poaching and trading can be. She said that we can help by using products with an FSC logo showing they have been harvested responsibly; also that we can avoid products containing palm oil as these plants are of no value to the native animals of these countries.

Betsy is working on her PhD which will help answer many questions relating to conservation in this part of the world. When asked where she will go next, she expressed an interest in Egypt or Chad so we will look forward to her "Chapter 2" presentation in a few years!