The Borneo Nature Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and research organisation. We work to protect some of the most important areas of tropical rainforest, and to safeguard the wildlife, environment, and indigenous culture on Borneo.
Are you an active individual who wants to get your hands dirty and support vital conservation initiatives in the forests of Borneo? Do you want to contribute your time to supporting rainforest protection in one of the most biodiverse places in the world? We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our Volunteer Programme to support orangutan conservation in Borneo. Volunteers do not need to have any prior experience, just a willingness to help and an interest in wildlife and forest conservation. In return, we will share our passion, offering a unique and rewarding experience, which will help secure a safer future for the last remaining wild orangutans and forests in Borneo.
Volunteers will be based in the Sebangau Forest (580,000 hectares of peat-swamp), the largest area of lowland rainforest remaining in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo and home to the largest lowland Bornean orangutan population in the world. We need people who will thrive in a tropical jungle and love to be surrounded by nature. Volunteers do not need to have any prior experience, just a willingness to help and an interest in wildlife and forest conservation. In return, we will share our passion, offering a unique and rewarding experience, which will help secure a safer future for the last remaining wild orangutans and forests in Borneo.
What you will experience:
During the first week of the Programme, volunteers will be introduced to the Sebangau Forest and receive an orientation on all BNF’s research and conservation activities, which includes orangutan nest surveys, camera trap surveys, butterfly and dragonfly ecological monitoring and peat-swamp habitat restoration techniques. For the following weeks, volunteers will assist with various projects to support BNF’s conservation and education activities, which may include rebuilding the seedling nursery, building a forest classroom, planting seedlings for BNF’s reforestation project, assisting with environmental education activities and joining remote expeditions to our remote satellite camps to help improve our understanding of the deeper areas of the jungle.
The fee covers accommodation in Palangka Raya, airport pickup, transport to and from camp, use and maintenance of base camp and facilities (including electricity, food, cooks, equipment and medical supplies), Indonesian field assistants, travel to remote survey sites, visa fees, and a trip to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) Orangutan Reintroduction Centre.
The fee also includes an important contribution to the long-term conservation of Borneo Nature Foundation and our partners, University of Palangka Raya, to support Forest Patrol Unit and Firefighting Teams. Costs you will also need to cover include international and internal airfares, and travel insurance. Day-to-day costs are typically small and may include drinks, snacks and souvenirs.
All meals provided.
This daily fee has been converted from GBP, but please see above in group dates for actual costs.
Throughout our programmes, we support and empower community-led initiatives to protect forest and biodiversity, including anti-logging patrols, fire-fighting teams, environmental education and the replanting and restoration of damaged forests. All our field programmes include high-quality scientific research as a basis for protecting and managing forests, and we have particular expertise in monitoring the distribution, population status, behaviour and ecology of Borneo’s flagship ape species; the endangered orangutan and southern Bornean gibbon. We provide training and capacity building for local students, researchers and conservation-area managers, and work with a number of local partners to implement successful conservation projects.
Our longest running programme, the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop), was founded in 1999. We identified the Sabangau Forest as home to the largest orangutan population in the world, bringing the region to the forefront of orangutan conservation efforts and resulting in the award of National Park status in 2004. Here we carry out long-term ecological research; contribute to peatland restoration efforts and support local initiatives to manage and protect peat-swamp forest habitat. We are proud to support, advise and fundraise for the TSA Kalteng Community Patrol Team and other fire-fighting units in Central Kalimantan, who put their lives on the line to stop fires and save forest.
In Barito Ulu we have adopted the management of the former University of Cambridge research station, one of the longest-running research programmes in Kalimantan. This site is in a critical region in the south of the Heart of Borneo landscape and has been used for orangutan reintroductions. The Rungan River Orangutan Conservation Programme is our newest programme, where we are working with local stakeholders with the aim to protect up to 100,000 hectares of forest within a multi-use landscape. This is a critical region that contains one of the largest populations of orangutans outside of protected areas on Borneo.
Alongside these programmes we work with a wide range of partners throughout Kalimantan to survey biodiversity, make recommendations on forest management, support conservation efforts and advise on national and international strategies to protect the natural habitats and wildlife of the island of Borneo.