Your people and work are wonderful.
We are blessed to be able to visit and to help however we can. Thank you for who you are and what you do!
Amory and Judy Hill Lovins / Snowmass/Aspen, Colorado, USA
My heart is full, thak you for your smiles, your kindness, for the beauty the orangutans –
I will keep you touched inside my heart when I am home in California – may you all be well & happy.
Thank you for all your help, ypur kindness, your smiles and for all the laughter.
We had 14 fantastic days here.
This is the best nature/animal project in the whoke world.
Thank you for helping the animals, the nature and the local people.
We will be back…..
Hugs and Kisses
Ditte and Michael / ditte[at]orangutang.dk
For all the people at the Samboja Lodge
We had a great time here.
It is just wonderful and very interesting.
So we hope one time we will come back and meet you all again.
Hansjorg and Andrea / Switzerland
Thank you for having us at your beautiful Lodge.
Terima kasih banyak.
Luke + Marsha + Kevin + Georgia / Australia
Thank you for an enjoying and enriching stay. The staff of Samboja Lestari did a wonderful job taking care of us. Keep up your good work and care of these beautiful animals and renewal of their (our) environment. We hope to return again some day.
Terima kasih banyak.
James Schultz /
Thank you for the nice time and for your extraordinary service!
Ivo - Germany /
Selalu tetap survive, kalau bisa ada ruang pertemuan.
Ihya Ulumuddin (Ekologi ITB) /
Sangat menarik. Bisa membuat hutan rusak menjadi hidup alami dan lingkungannya terpelihara dengan baik.
Ova, Bandung /
Semoga sukses dan jaya selalu. Tempatnya ok habiiiisssss.
Jumisah (Tribun Kaltim) /
is a small village with 10,000 local people, located on the East coast of
Borneo, about 35 km north of Balikpapan The provincial capital city of East
Kalimantan was established about one hundred years ago when oil was discovered
and was once covered in lush forest. The first mechanical logging in all
of Indonesia took place in the 1950’s near this village, which opened the
door for illegal logging and human encroachment. The forests disappeared,
and the landscape became a patchwork of regenerating secondary forest and
barren fields. In 1982-1983 and again in 1997-1998, severe drought, causesd
by El Nino conditions in East Kalimantan caused two of the worst ever destructions
by fire in a tropical rain forest region. Since those disastrous droughts
the area has burned every year and as a result alang-alang (Imperata
cylindrica) grassland vegetation took over the area, all without any
benefit to the local people. In 2001 BOS started buying barren pieces of
grassland in Samboja and began an ambitious project to bring the local forests
back to this area.
Reforestation/Rehabilitation is the core of the Samboja Lestari project
with hundreds of indigenous species planted. By the middle of 2006 more
than 740 different tree species were planted, not yet including the special
collections in the arboretum (see below). Our wish list includes 1716 selected
tree species and every week we manage to get more species from this list.
This huge and worldwide unmatched biological diversity in a project starting
from scratch is already supporting hundreds of animal species, including
nine species of primate, of which 8 showed up spontaneously in this quiet
refuge of food rich greenery.
The reforestation process and all associated activities begin in the nursery.
The general activities of the nursery include fruit, seed and seedling
collection and selection, soil treatments for media, pest and disease
control, and a wide range of techniques for vegetative propagation. Along
with the timber and fruit tree species, BOS Samboja Lestari
also houses a collection of medicinal plants as well as trees that yield
resins, perfume, soap, edible fats, etc.
The Samboja Lestari program focuses on fruit tree species in order to
develop a wildlife sanctuary in the near future, especially for the orangutan.
Actually many of our trees were grown from the seeds extracted from the
excrements of free roaming orangutans therefore a guarantee that they
will support orangutans and other wildlife. The carrying capacity of the
Samboja Lestari area for wildlife will be many times greater than the
natural forest. Planting of other tree species increases the biodiversity
of the area and also benefits research activities and helps the local
The rehabilitation of the area begins
by planting shade trees, such as pioneer trees, which help to reduce and
kill the alang-alang as well as reducing soil erosion, improving
infiltration of water into the soil, slowing down the outflow of water
from the area thereby preventing floods and keeping streams alive during
dry seasons. The planting of climax species follows a year later when
the pioneer trees, just like in the patches of regenerating rain forest,
have recreated a suitable microclimate with light shade and better humidity
that these original rain forest species need. Rehabilitation activities
include field maintenance such as weeding, hoeing, fertilizing, mulching,
thinning, pruning, etc.
A total area of 159 hectares, located in the centre of Samboja Lestari,
has been allocated for the establishment and development of an arboretum,
a huge scientific tree garden twice the size of the famous Bogor botanical
garden, in which some 5,000 indigenous tree species and sub-species of
Borneo will be planted, along with many other smaller plants. The purpose
of the development of this botanical garden is to make a collection of
indigenous tree species, to facilitate research especially on the growth
and development and phenology (flowering) of the species, and to facilitate
environmental education programs for the local communities as well as
for school children and older students. Inside the Kukar botanical garden
(named after the district in which Samboja Lestari is located) we will
also preserve the superior trees that were selected over 20 years of forestry
research in East-Kalimantan. Some of these tree are now now the only ones
left in Samboja Lestari are extinct in the wild.
The Orangutan Reintroduction Project at Wanariset has moved to Samboja
Lestari. Several Forest Schools have already been established. Forest
Schools are areas that will provide natural, educational playgrounds for
the orangutans in which to learn forest skills. Here they will roam freely
(but supervised) and be returned to sleeping cages for the night. There
is a brand new Clinic and Quarantine area as well as many new forest cages
for larger orangutans and a Babies Room for the little ones.
Moving the Wanariset Orangutan Reintroduction Project to Samboja Lestari
is only the beginning of what we hope to develop here. The plan is to
create a wildlife sanctuary not only for orangutans but for other species
as well and provide them with a safe haven with abundant natural foods
from rain forest trees. The sanctuary area will be used to house orangutans
that can never be released, such as blind or other severely disabled orangutans
(missing limbs, epilepsy, stroke, Down syndrome, hospitalismus, etc.)
as well as other disenfranchised animals. In addition Samboja Lestari
has already established 6 Orangutan Islands, covering
a total area of 6.52 hectares, with feeding sites and extra enrichment
for a special class of chronically ill orangutans that otherwise would
have to spend the rest of their lives in cages (the Islands currently
hold a small population of Hep B orangutans). Many more islands will be
established, where more orangutans and other wildlife that cannot be returned
to the wild can live under almost completely natural conditions.
Expanding on our wildlife sanctuary promise, the Sun Bear Sanctuary covers
a total area of 58 hectares inside Samboja Lestari. It is fenced in by
electric wiring and divided into several compartments to accommodate bears
of different ages and sex. The sun bears have their own team that monitors
their behaviors, diet and behavioral enrichment needs. Sun bears are brought
in from all over Indonesia, confiscated from the trade (people use their
gall bladders, claws, teeth, skin, skulls and paws) or from people who
kept them as a status symbol or handed over by people voluntarily.
The Samboja Lestari Program participates strongly in community development
through a wide range of activities including providing employment within
our various projects, giving opportunities to the local community by involving
them in agro-forestry practices (people are allowed to grow fruits and
vegetables in between the newly planted trees in Samboja Lestari and sell
part of them to the project) and providing training on skills such as
making handicrafts produced from Samboja Lestari’s waste wood. BOS helps
sell these items around the world to create many more environmentally
friendly local jobs for what was until recently the poorest district in
Through these activities the local community
has begun to understand and appreciate the benefits of maintaining and
protecting their forest environment and in return support the many efforts
of Samboja Lestari. One good indicator: Thanks to the fire fighting teams
with the local people BOS Samboja Lestari has not lost a single tree to
The parameters for social well being we
are using (through a local NGO helping BOS assessing the socio economic
impacts of our work) are amongst others the jobless rate, the crime rate
and the people’s general health condition. Since the regeneration activities
began in Samboja Lestari, the village of Samboja has decreased its unemployment
rate dramatically thereby increasing the average income level of the area.
Local crime which was high, has disappeared. The number of hospital visits
is steadily decreasing. If only we could measure the quantity of smiles
BOS is generating!
Some parts of Samboja Lestari are reserved as tree research areas. Research
topics include: the growth and comparisons of different tree species, hydrology,
meteorology, plant physiology, species site matching, space based monitoring,