Orangutans are the most intelligent beings on the planet after human beings, and they adapt to the environment by passing on culture through each generation. A self-aware being, as intelligent as a six year old child, their drive to extinction is an individual story of horror as they are macheted and burnt alive as an agricultural pest.
Being the slowest reproducing species in the world, they are highly prone to extinction, so if we do not act now we could lose them in our lifetime.
We are told it is 'wildlife versus people’, or ‘the environment versus the economy’. Both these statements are false. The rainforest not only benefits the orangutans, but all wildlife that they live alongside, in the most biodiverse ecosystem in the world. The rainforest also benefits indigenous communities, that rely on the rainforest and local communities, that rely on the ecosystem - services that the rainforest supplies for sustainable agriculture.
The conversion of rainforest to unsustainable forms of agriculture, such as palm oil and pulp paper, is only economical by passing the ‘true cost of production’ onto the powerless. This heavily impacts indigenous communities, local communities, a sustainable economy for Indonesia and global effects for all future generations. The real question is – do we let a few greedy people get rich at the expense of the many?
As the destruction of the rainforest causes more global warming than all the transport systems in the world combined, the protection of orangutan habitat benefits all future generations.
The destruction is fuelled by a few multinational companies (where the 'lion's share' of profits go to).