Batu Mbelin Care Centre

The Batu Mbelin Care Centre is located near Medan in North Sumatra and opened in 2002. It is run by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). SOCP is a collaborative programme involving numerous organisations. Batu Mbelin is the only quarantine and care centre for the Sumatran orangutan. It is a multifaceted programme engaged in all aspects of Sumatran orangutan conservation including:

a) Confiscation, quarantine and reintroduction of illegal pet orangutans
b) Surveys and monitoring of remaining wild populations
c)  Research on conservation and behavioral ecology of wild orangutans
d) Habitat conservation; and

e) Education and awareness.

Illegally held orangutans that are confiscated in Sumatra are taken to the Batu Mbelin Care Centre. Many have been kept as pets or have been injured by palm oil plantation workers. Orangutans are given a full medical check upon arrival and treated for any illnesses and parasites. They undergo a quarantine period before being introduced to other compatible orangutans. Many confiscated orangutans are very young and require regular milk feeds. Young orangutans have full time carers during the day and night and are also given tree climbing lessons in the grounds.

When orangutans are deemed suitable for release they are either sent to the Bukit Tigapuluh release site in the province of Jambi or to the Jantho Reintroduction centre in the province of Aceh.  As of the end of 2010, over 220 orangutans had been received at the Batu Mbelin Care Centre, with 135 orangutans transferred to Jambi for release and six transferred to the newly established Jantho Reintroduction Centre. Over 120 Sumatran orangutans from Batu Mbelin have been released into the wild since the first release in 2003.

It costs approximately $120,000 AUD per annum to run the Batu Mbelin Quarantine Centre. Costs include staff salaries, orangutan confiscation costs, transportation costs, orangutan food, orangutan medical costs, food for staff and maintenance work.

Tripa Swamp Protection

TOP funding is provided for legal advocacy and assistance to the community in Tripa Peat Swamp in terms of supporting a proper and sustainable community based management plan of the area. It is located in the Aceh province, Indonesia (districts of Nagan Raya and Aceh Barat Daya).

This programme is to ensure that the process of Provincial Spatial Planning reaches down to the process of the District Spatial Plans for both Nagan Raya and Aceh Barat Daya. The programme will also collect data and field facts related to violation of environmental laws and human rights at the community level, as well as to strengthen and to empower the communities of the 21 villages to follow up to their signed petition, requesting conservation of the Tripa swamp forest ecosystem.

Another important aspect of this project is to endorse public opinion and promote deeper understanding at the District Government Level, of both Nagan Raya and Aceh Barat Daya, regarding the important value of the Tripa peat swamps, in terms of biodiversity, socio-economy, and culture, as well as the vulnerability of the Tripa Region towards future disasters.

Project Leader