On his recent visit to Asia, HRH the Prince of Wales visited an orangutan rehabilitation sanctuary and spoke with Whitley Award winner Melvin Gumal about conservation issues. Melvin won a Whitley Award in 2014 which was presented to him by HRH Prince Charles’ sister HRH Princess Anne, Patron of the Whitley Fund for Nature.
Melvin is Director of the Malaysia Programme at the Wildlife Conservation Society where he leads a programme to increase the amount of Bornean orangutan habitat under protection in Sarawak. He is working to create an environment where these Critically Endangered orangutans have an opportunity to thrive alongside local communities.
Whitley Segré Conservation Funding is now supporting Melvin to survey remaining forest patches in the environs of Sedilu National Park, Bungo Range National Park and Sabal Forest Reserve. Through discussion with local landowners and the state wildlife authorities, Melvin and his team are working to link forest fragments in corridors to increase the area of forest available to orangutans by 20%.