Global conservation organisation The Orangutan Project is using this year’s International Women’s Day to celebrate Borneo’s first-ever women-led ranger teams – collectively called “The Power of Mama” – who are breaking into traditionally male roles and achieving incredible outcomes.

In a year when the International Women’s Day theme is ‘Embrace Equity’, these new teams are living proof of the power of promoting gender equity – not just for the women themselves but also for the environment, their communities, and wildlife conservation.

“We are proud to support this life-changing project, spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of The Republic of Indonesia, and supported by Yayasan International Animal Rescue Indonesia (YIARI). The project is part of their critically important approach to increasing gender equity and protecting forests in Borneo,” says Kylie Bullo, Conservation Project Manager with The Orangutan Project.

Every year in Borneo, precious tropical rainforests are threatened by voracious wildfires that destroy thousands of hectares of forest, cause untold casualties in humans and wildlife, and lead to spikes in carbon emissions, further contributing to climate change.

“By empowering women to engage with environmental issues, we are mobilising a whole new section of the community, greatly enhancing our ability to protect forests, save wildlife, and change lives for the better,” says Bullo.

Key outcomes of the project include restoring peatlands, protecting wildlife including orangutans, empowering local women, and increasing education of women and children. Forest-edge communities also benefit from reduced fires, increased awareness of the importance of protecting forests, and enhanced health and wellbeing.

The Power of Mama is only possible through donations from supporters. To play a role in this vital women’s project, consider a donation to The Orangutan Project.

About The Orangutan Project

The Orangutan Project was established by Leif Cocks (OAM) in 1998 with a critical mission: to ensure that Critically Endangered orangutan species are protected against extinction and can continue to live in viable wild populations for generations to come. Today, The Orangutan Project is a dynamic, fast-growing and successful non-profit organisation that has raised over $25 million to support a wide range of critical projects that address the holistic problem facing fragmented orangutan populations – including fighting deforestation and habitat loss at the highest level.

About Yayasan International Animal Rescue Indonesia (YIARI)

Yayasan International Animal Rescue Indonesia (YIARI) is the Indonesian arm of global organisation International Animal Rescue, working in the province of West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Their long-term goal is to establish and maintain self-sustaining orangutan populations in the wild by protecting wild populations and through preventing, mitigating and resolving human-orangutan conflict. 

Featured image courtesy of The Orangutan Project

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