The last known 800 Tapanuli orangutans on Earth face having their Indonesian forest home ripped from beneath them — by a British company’s thirst for gold.
Jardine Matheson and its gold mining company want to destroy this precious ecosystem in Batang Toru, Northern Sumatra out of pure greed — driving the rarest great ape to extinction.
Just in the past month, satellite images revealed a new expansion of the Martable Mine into the heart of orangutan territory. But if we act fast with a massive public campaign exposing Jardine Matheson, we can stop the mine’s expansion and protect the orangutans and their habitat before it’s too late.
The Tapanuli orangutan, which is the rarest great ape in the world, was first documented by scientists in 2017. It’s the first great ape to be recorded for a century and it only lives in the Batang Toru Forest in Indonesia.
Sadly, there are only 800 of the charismatic primates left.
Unfortunately for the newly identified and already endangered great ape, its forest home sits on top of a rich seam of gold – which is currently being mined by a British company.
Jardine Matheson has been run by the same British family, the Keswicks, since the Victorian era. It bought the Martabe gold mine in 2018 and has expanded it further into the habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan ever since.
So far, the Martabe mine has already destroyed at least 30 ha of Tapanuli orangutan forest habitat — an area of the Batang Toru forest equivalent to at least 42 football fields.
If we don’t act now, scientists warn that the entire Tapanuli orangutan population could be decimated in less than 10 years.
The survival of the Tapanuli orangutan truly is a test for humanity, but in reality it’s a simple one. All that Jardine Matheson needs to do is to halt any future expansion projects in Batang Toru and work with the International Union for Conservation of Nature on a plan to preserve the rarest great ape and its habitat.
When SumOfUs members come together, we achieve wonders. In May 2015, we got together to tell Jardine Matheson and its luxury hotel subsidiary Mandarin Oriental to save and protect the Sumatran Elephant, and it listened to all of us. Today, an even greater threat is looming over the last Tapanuli orangutans and we must ramp up the pressure on Jardine Matheson to do the right thing once again.
Thanks for all that you do,
Fatah and the team at SumOfUs