Kalaweit was created in 1998, its overall aim is to save gibbons and their habitat in Sumatra and Borneo. In Indonesia, the forests are being devastated by logging, driven by the demand for tropical wood, and above all by clearing to make way for oil palm plantations. Young gibbons are captured and kept as pets. If nothing is done, the forests will have disappeared from the main islands of Indonesia by 2030, together with their unique fauna and flora…
What do they do?
Kalaweit owns 3 reserves which have become safe habitat to the wild population of gibbons and other species. Today it is the biggest gibbon protection programme in the world. The benefit of creating a reserve is to put an end to illegal logging and poaching of wild animals.
Rescuing captive gibbons:
Rescuing gibbons illegally kept in captivity is a priority. These gibbons are most often held captive under inappropriate conditions and as a result, their life span is very short, even if they are not killed at about 6 or 7 years old, when they reach sexual maturity.
Protecting Indonesia’s forests:
The creation of protected areas, managed jointly by the government, the local populations and Kalaweit, is essential for saving the gibbons. Kalaweit is purchasing forests to protect the natural habitat of gibbons, working hands-in-hands with the villagers and local authorities.
Purchasing lands is difficult in Indonesia and Kalaweit has a unique opportunity to extend the Supayang reserve, enable them to create a sanctuary and to ensure the security of a variety of Endangered and Critically Endangered species. The reserve is situated in the Supayang village, Kabupaten Solok District in West Sumatra and its size is 337,10 hectares (June 208).
The reserve lies at an altitude of 900-1050 meters and has both primary and good quality secondary lowland forests. The area is rich in biodiversity of Sumatran large mammals as: gibbons, siamangs, tapirs, sunbears, tigers or leopards. It borders with the Supayang Gibbons Conservation Centre, enabling additional resources to offer protection in the area.
Raising awareness on wildlife protection:
Kalaweit created its radio station in 2003, programs are broadcast in Borneo and aim at listeners aged between 15 and 25 years. Kalaweit FM offers entertainment, and incorporates environmental messages. This enables Kalaweit to raise awareness on environmental protection issues very effectively among a section of the population that would otherwise be out of reach. Kalaweit FM has become very popular and is a superb communication tool used by the association 24 hours a day. More than 65% of the animals taken in owe their rescue to tips received from Kalaweit FM listeners. Listen to Kalaweit FM
Working with locals & authorities:
Purchasing plots of forest strongly interests villagers. The harvest of the SAP of hevea brought them money in the past but it is no longer the case and these parcels have lost their economical value. When villagers sell us some parcels they earn an amount that they could never otherwise obtain. Also the fact that we protect the forest assure them that this area will remain intact in the future. They are aware of the problems that deforestation and palm oil production brings to soils, water, air and then to their quality of living.
All their employees come from the local community and they are covered with a health insurance. Kalaweit also buys fruits and vegetables, and materials from the surrounding villages to feed animals (gibbons, bears…) of their centre which is adjacent to the Supayang reserve and to build enclosures
How can you help?
- For the animals : purchase of food and medications, veterinary care and analyses, maintenance and construction of cages and enclosures, veterinary equipment. For eg: $320 = adopt a gibbon for 1 year.
- For the natural reserves: purchase of hectares of forest to expand our forest reserves, funding of surveillance patrols (upkeep of vehicles and boats, petrol etc.). For eg: $1,350 = purchase 1 ha of land, they currently aim to purchase 40 ha by the end of the year.
- For locals : salaries and expenses of staff members. meals, office equipment and supplies, printing of documents and brochures. Purchase and support of the Kalaweit FM radio station. For eg: $7 = monthly donation to become a Friend of Kalaweit and support their needs.
EXO Foundation support
We are supporting Kalaweit to purchase 5 ha of lands in the Supayang reserve.