28 August 2018 - SANTA MONICA Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) will honor environmental achievement from television, science, and advocacy at the 5th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards to be held on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Bergamot Station Art Galleries in Santa Monica, CA.

 The annual fundraiser will host a special screening of Animal Planet’s “Raised Human” episode “Princess the Orangutan.” Princess and OURF President Dr. Gary Shapiro became well-acquainted in the jungles of Indonesian Borneo in the late 1970s when she was home-reared and taught sign language by Dr. Shapiro.

Orang Utan Republik Foundation is celebrating its 14th year of educating people about the plight of the orangutan. “All three species of orangutans are critically endangered throughout their home range on Borneo and Sumatra,” says OURF President and Co-Founder Dr. Shapiro. “The Annual Awards and Benefit program is one way to address the need by raising funds that help keep our successful programs in the field and to pay tribute to those who make a significant effort.”

Special honors and recipients of the 5th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards this year will be announced several weeks prior to the event.  The awards were originally created to honor individuals for distinguished support to the mission of the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative. Since 2014, the relevance of the Pongo Awards was broadened to include recognizing and honoring individuals and organizations that have contributed to the improved understanding and appreciation of orangutans, other endangered species, rainforest habitat, ecological and environmental challenges and for improving conditions for orangutans and other animals globally. A nominating committee of OURF determines candidates for the awards each year.

Previous Pongo Award recipients have included Dr. Jane Goodall; Dr. Ian Singleton, researcher with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme and co-author of November 2017 study describing new species Tapanuli orangutan Pongo tapanuliensis; Dr. Greg Asner, director of Carnegie Aerial Observatory; Rainforest Action Network; and actors Ed Begley Jr. and Ed Asner for their many years of environmental activism.

OURF continues to move forward to advance its conservation education mission. OURF recently awarded its 150th Orangutan Caring Scholarship in May 2018 to students in North Sumatra, Aceh, Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). OURF currently is administering the 8th year of the Mobile Education and Conservation Unit (MECU) program in and around Gunung Leuser National Park in N. Sumatra protecting the ecosystem and improving livelihoods of villagers along the border of the Park. OURF also serves as a chapter of internationally renowned The Orangutan Project in the United States.

Orangutans are only found in the wild on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in the countries of Indonesia and Malaysia (N. Borneo). Fewer than 14,600 individuals remain on Sumatra. Their population continues to decline due to the conversion of forest to agriculture, the illegal pet trade, being killed as pests or hunted, as well as habitat degradation from natural and human caused activities, i.e., fires, mining, logging, palm oil, and major infrastructure projects.

For tickets, please visit https://ourf2018annualevent.eventbrite.com/

Contact Dr. Gary Shapiro at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.



About Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF)

OURF is a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity with a mission to save wild orangutans through education initiatives and innovative collaborative projects. OURF partners with Indonesian organizations and communities to promote outreach education and sustainable solutions to long-term conservation of the orangutan and its rainforest habitat. Culturally sensitive and effective education programs to foster community-based conservation actions are developed and implemented to save the forest habitat and the species. (www.orangutanrepublik.org)