by Rob, Co-Director, IHF Medan
A few weeks ago we welcomed in a special guest speaker. Panut, from the OIC (Orang-utan Information Centre) came to Medan, accompanied by a large toy ape, to talk to the kids and local volunteers about the Sumatran orang-utan, its disappearing habitat, its endangered status as a species and the importance of environmental conservation both inside and outside Indonesia.
The deforestation talk was especially pertinent given our location. North Sumatra, along with Borneo and much of Malaysia, has seen vast amounts of its natural rainforest stripped and flattened by palm oil plantations. It is a continuing problem, both for the communities and the wildlife that live in what little rainforest remains. Panut and his organisation hope that by educating children about this issue a more eco-minded generation will emerge in the future – they may well be the last generation with the power to stop the eradication of certain species and habitats.
As you can see from the photo, the room was packed with enthusiastic kids from across all our classes. Panut was also kind enough to donate some books and calendars for the centre. They now sit in our slowly expanding library for all to peruse.
For more information on the OIC, please visit http://orangutancentre.org/