As a big fan of photography, I took many photos of wildlife whilst growing up in a small farming village. I learnt about the amazing behavior of animals through a camera lens but I also saw the misery of deforestation, poaching and the illegal animal trade. I realized that the photos could not solve these issues and I needed to take action.
I formed COP in 2007 to specifically tackle the cause of deforestation and the deaths of tens of thousands of orangutans. We are the only all Indonesian group of its kind to take on these issues.
The COP documents and exposes the criminal practice and cruelty towards orangutans. The photos and videos that are successfully documented by this group are able to open the world’s eyes to the plight of the orangutans. They are very useful as ammunition campaign against palm oil companies that are threatening the orangutans. COP builds public awareness on their rights of the forest and assists the local community to protect their livelihood. COP also conducts orangutan rescues when they have been displaced from their habitat. In addition, COP also helps to improve animal management and welfare standards in numerous zoos in Indonesia, focusing on orangutans. COP helps the authorities send orangutan killers to the prison.
Currently, COP is run by 14 staffs who are placed into three teams: APE Crusader, APE Defender, and APE Warrior. The team members are working without a pause. All of them work with a deep passion and a strong dedication for a way of life, not as a regular job.