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  • Blog Post: UK Government matches Ebola Donations

    It’s been almost a month since our last post on how Ebola is affecting operations in the Gola Rainforest and the disease is still running rife through West Africa. Since we last updated you, our Gola team have been training with aid organisations on the ground in order to distribute vital relief...
  • Blog Post: UK hosts International meeting to coordinate the aid effort against Ebola in Sierra Leone

    Today, 02 October, the UK Government is hosting a high-level meeting in London to coordinate the international aid effort against Ebola in Sierra Leone. The RSPB welcomes this commitment and is a signatory to the joint NGO statement which will be delivered during the conference. The RSPB has been...
  • Blog Post: Gola's Ebola

    The largest ever Ebola outbreak is affecting several countries in West Africa, including Sierra Leone and Liberia where the RSPB has been working for many years with local BirdLife partners and Governments to conserve critical biodiversity and sustainably manage the greater Gola landscape. The epidemic...
  • Blog Post: Harapan's mobile schools keep growing

    Fifty-five pupils attend the mobile schools we run at Harapan. The schools are registered with the local education authorities. The pupils get a certificate when they leave, proving which grade they finished. It will help them get into further education, or a job. Not all of the pupils can attend all...
  • Blog Post: It's a long way to the top...

    Harapan Rainforest is located on fairly flat land, which means we have few vantage points for viewing the site. To address this, our trained climbing team and representatives from Indonesian climbing organisation IndoRope are installing five viewing platforms this month, at the dizzying height of nearly...
  • Blog Post: Raising the roof at Harapan Rainforest!

    I’ve arrived into camp after a break to see some building work - an office and 11 new rooms to house staff. This is welcome as we are now in desperate need of more office space and accommodation. The new buildings are traditional in design; wooden with very tall metal roofs to keep the inside...
  • Blog Post: Tracking the number of tiger tracks we've tracked

    Harapan’s patrol wardens, all local community members, are one of our greatest assets. In the field all day, every day, they have the most contact with the forest’s wildlife. Discovering what they encounter is vital for learning how wildlife uses the forest. The wardens were recently trained...
  • Blog Post: Rain, rain, go away!

    It is a big relief to be at the end of the rainy season. Following a long dry season when our fire fighting teams were on high alert, we have experienced long periods of extremely heavy rain which brought a different challenge. Travel to and from, and within, Harapan Rainforest has become increasingly...
  • Blog Post: Growing the nursery to grow the forest

    A really noticeable development at the Harapan Rainforest main camp has been the growth of our central nursery. Lines of metal poles support enough shade netting to cover half a football pitch. Fully equipped with an irrigation network, the rehabilitated nursery is big enough to hold up to half a million...
  • Blog Post: A waste of a life

    A shocking report from Sumatra reminds me how important Harapan Rainforest is for tigers. In late August, a female tiger in Jambi zoo (less than three hours from Harapan Rainforest) was killed by poachers. They broke in to the zoo at night, poisoned her, and took her skin and body parts to presumably...
  • Blog Post: Youth group holds New Year camp at Harapan

    Fifteen members of the Green Generation, a group of young nature lovers from various high schools in Jambi, recently spent New Year's Eve in Harapan Rainforest. As they normally live in a city of half a million people, they camped out in the forest, to make sure they experienced the forest close...
  • Blog Post: Harapan Rainforest gets the stamp of approval

    Burung Indonesia, the BirdLife partner in Indonesia and one of the major partners in Harapan Rainforest has come up with a great way to raise awareness of Harapan Rainforest - postage stamps! The fine pencil and crayon images of magnificent Sumatran birds have been landing on doormats since mid-July...
  • Blog Post: Everyone had a splashing time

    Thirty five pupils from Harapan Rainforest’s mobile school had a fantastic day out in the provincial capital recently - despite a 5am start and two and a half hours bogged down in the mud. Upon arriving in Jambi city – another three hours drive – they first visted a school to get a...
  • Blog Post: Don't just take our word for it...

    Harapan Rainforest was recently honoured by a visit from Tony Whitten, a senior biodiversity specialist at the World Bank. Tony was part of a team that produced a World bank paper in 2001 that was influential in prompting RSPB’s involvement in the conservation of Sumatra’s lowland forests...
  • Blog Post: Sustainable rattan harvest helps indigenous community

    Today I was privileged to watch as some of Harapan Rainforest's Bathin Sembilan indigenous community processed the first three tonnes of rattan harvested from Harapan Rainforest. The community is hoping to earn 5-6,000 rupiah (30-40p) per kilo of rattan sold into the commercial market. Rattan...
  • Blog Post: Scouts out and about in Harapan Rainforest

    More than sixty members of our nearest Pramuka troupe recently visited Harapan Rainforest. Pramuka is the Indonesian scouting movement. They got to experience rainforest close up on the forest trail – where there are regular sightings of hornbills (including two of the nestboxes erected for them...
  • Blog Post: My Harapan Rainforest moment

    I'm just coming to the end of a three-month stint providing management support to the Harapan Rainforest site management team. When I used to work on RSPB reserves in the UK, I'd wake up to the dawn chorus of bird song but here in the forest, the birds are outcompeted by the agile gibbons that...
  • Blog Post: Barking up the right tree

    Harapan’s indigenous community is the Bathin Sembilan. They rely heavily on the forest to support their lives. It gives them materials needed to live day-to-day. They collect bengkuang leaves to weave sleeping mats, and rattan to fashion baskets. They collect damar tree resin and jelutung latex...
  • Blog Post: The pitta-patter of tiny feet!

    Deep in the forest, I woke at 4.30 in the morning to walk to our gibbon survey points under the cover of darkness, itself an exhilarating experience. Arriving at the survey spot, I prepared for a morning of recording calling gibbons. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of bright colour...
  • Blog Post: Oh my! What big teeth you have!

    It’s a macaque, and those teeth are very big. What more is there to say? Just enjoy the fantastic photo. Think how, if it wasn’t for Harapan Rainforest, this might not exist.
  • Blog Post: Stephanie spotted it!

    Stephanie Sim from RSPB Northern Ireland is in Harapan Rainforest for a month. She's supporting the team there with the expertise she normally uses back home in Belfast - public affairs and media. Steph is recording her impressions and we’ll pass those on to you. As with most visitors to the...
  • Blog Post: New film highlights Harapan Rainforest benefits for communities

    Working with local communities and collaborating with local partners is key to Harapan Rainforest’s success. A film just released by a project partner, Jambi NGO KKI-WARSI, shows some of the activities that have been going on in villages around Harapan Rainforest over the past 3 years or so. ...
  • Blog Post: It's called rainforest for a reason

    Despite the long dry season we are experiencing in Sumatra, a few hours of rain can have a dramatic affect on the forest landscape, as I discovered on the research team's latest forest trip. On one of our first nights, very heavy rain left many of our survey transects impassable the next day,...
  • Blog Post: This is how committed we are to restoring Harapan Rainforest

    We know that the animals and birds in Harapan Rainforest are important for moving seeds around the forest. Hornbills fly for miles across the forest canopy, taking with them the seeds of fruit they have eaten. We want to find out which animals and birds eat what types of seed. This will help us as we...
  • Blog Post: Time for talk at Tiger Junction

    We are currently holding discussions with one of the indigenous community groups living within Harapan Rainforest, at a place called Simpang Macan (Tiger Junction). This group of 27 families is based at Simpang Macan, but moves into the forest in search of fruit, rattan, fish and game from time-to...