Dr. Gary Shapiro Welcomes You

July 12, 2007 - Santa Monica, CA.  Dr. Barita O. Manullang, one of Indonesia’s most experienced conservationists and conservation educators has been appointed Executive Director of Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative Indonesia (OUREII), the newly created Indonesian branch of the Santa Monica-based Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI). OUREI has a mission of securing the future of wild orangutans through empowering Indonesians to educate and inspire local people to care about the plight of the species, one of Indonesia’s natural treasures.



Dr. Barita O. Manullang, Executive Director OUREI Indonesia


“I strongly believe in genuine partnership, so collaboration is the only keyword in order to save the orangutan,” said Dr. Manullang upon his appointment. Indeed, one of OUREI’s hallmarks has been to foster cooperative partnerships with other organizations during its rapid development as a nationally recognized organization in Indonesia.


Dr. Manullang assumed the position of Executive Director in late June 2007 and has already conducted a visit to Sumatra where he conferred with representatives of other orangutan organizations and participated in conferences and workshops pertaining to education and forest management.


“OUREI is delighted that Dr. Manullang has accepted the appointment as Executive Director and will lead the expanding Indonesian program in the months and years ahead. He has a tremendous amount of experience in the conservation and conservation education arena particularly within academia and the NGO setting,” said Dr. Gary Shapiro, OUREI Chairman.  “Not only does he understand the issues facing the orangutan, he has extensive government and conservation networking skills that will effectively further the mission of the organization. In my nearly 30 years of being acquainted with Dr. Manullang, I have also known him to be an honest and humble person, yet very competent and passionate about Indonesian conservation.”


From Jakarta, Dr. Manullang will lead OUREI Indonesia, oversee the activities of the Orangutan Caring Club, coordinate projects with other organizations, and implement other education and outreach initiatives being funded by OUREI.


 About Dr. Barita O. Manullang 


Dr. Manullang, 57, who received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, has had a long career in conservation and conservation education. Most recently, he was Senior Specialist for Institutional Partnership at Conservation International – Indonesia, He also served as Senior Ecologist and Senior Species Conservation Specialist at Conservation International.


Over the years, he professionally served in numerous capacities including Director of Javan Gibbon Center, Bodogol, West Java; Project Executant, Riau Elephant Conservation Program, WWF – Indonesia; Executive Director, Wildlife Foundation of Indonesia; Project Coordinator, Orangutan Conservation Program, WWF – Indonesia; Consultant, Species Monitoring Project, WWF – Indonesia; Co-chairman of Green Indonesia Foundation; Chairman, Study Group in Primatology; Editor of "Suara Alam" or “Voice of Nature”; Lecturer at Universitas Nasional, Jakarta; and Organizer and trainer of WWF - International wildlife and nature conservation education campaign in North Sumatra, Aceh, and West Java provinces.


Dr. Manullang also has had extensive field experience (over 35 years) and has conducted academic fieldwork and numerous surveys, censuses, and assessments in vertebrate behavior and ecology (including primates, elephants, rhinoceros, turtles), botany, ecology, and limnology.

Born in Lampung, Sumatra, Dr. Manullang is committed to conserving the diverse biodiversity of Indonesia for future generations. He also has a special interest in conserving the orangutan population which in critically endangered in Sumatra. As Dr. Manullang says, "Bersama kita bisa selamatkan orangutan" (together we can save orangutans). 

About OUREI 

In 2005, OUREI founders, Dr. Gary and Inggriani Shapiro, appointed Angelina Sondakh, former Miss Indonesia 2001 and member of the Indonesian Parliament to be OUREI Ambassador. Through her office and the efforts of OUREI, the Indonesian Minister of Forestry, M.S. Kaban officially proclaimed Orangutan Caring Week during November 2005. This week of celebration and outreach now takes place each year in Indonesia and internationally. Following Orangutan Caring Week, the growing network of Orangutan Caring Clubs was established under the banner of OUREI’s Ambassador. The clubs work cooperatively with other orangutan organizations to conduct outreach to schools, universities and other venues to promote orangutan conservation.