The residents of the villages, the indigenous people of Borneo, are generally interested in safeguarding nature, which they depend on. But because they are so marginalized, both geographically and politically, they lack knowledge of their rights and resources to demand influence. Save the Orangutan helps to strengthen the villagers’ awareness of how they can improve their living standards and at the same time take care of nature.
Knowledge of rights
The indigenous people are formally entitled to the funds of the Indonesian development pools on an equal basis with other citizens of the country. However, they lack knowledge of these rights and pools. Moreover, it is a long way from the decision-makers’ office to the locals’ everyday life in the forest. Save the Orangutan helps to inform the indigenous people of their rights and supports them in claiming them. The goal is to ensure education that makes the villagers capable of advocating their rights to decision-makers in the future.
ID cards for better education
In the villages around the forest area of Bukit Batikap, in which orangutans from the rehabilitation centre Nyaru Menteng are released, Save the Orangutan’s local partner works to provide the indigenous people with ID cards. If they are not registered citizens, they cannot go further in the school system than to secondary school. The ID card is thus a direct path to a better life.
Formal rights to own forest
A change in legislation in 2014 provide Borneo’s indigenous people the opportunity to gain legal rights to the forest which they have always inhabited and made a living from. Save the Orangutan supports the indigenous people in claiming their rights. All studies indicate that legal rights give a great sense of responsibility towards one’s own natural resources and hence interest in sustainability.