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Orangutan Land Trust

The Orangutan Project helps secure land for orangutans through the Orangutan Land Trust, whose eminent Scientific Advisory Board ensure maximum benefit to orangutans.

About the Orangutan Land Trust

As a land trust is focused on supporting the preservation, restoration and protection of forests in the areas where orangutans naturally exist or have existed in the past. The main aim of this trust is to ensure that there are safe forest areas set aside for orangutans and other species which accompany them within their habitat to form a healthy ecosystem. When you support OLT, we are able to use the funds to investigate land to ensure that it is suitable to use for orangutans as well as secure and protect the land to ensure that it remains a safe and flourishing habitat in an effort to keep wild orangutans from extinction.


The Orangutan Land Trust mission is to enable sustainable solutions that ensure safe areas of forest for the continued survival of the orangutan.

What the Trust Supports

  • Protecting existing orangutan habitat, especially that which contains significant populations of orangutans
  • Finding, surveying and securing permanent release sites for both wild and rehabilitated orangutan
  • Finding, surveying and securing river islands for the penultimate step in the rehabilitation process of orangutans, and as permanent sanctuary for rescued and rehabilitated orangutans not suitable for total release into the wild, such as those with chronic disease or disabilities
  • Finding, surveying and securing new forest sites for the use of orangutans undergoing the rehabilitation process.
  • Providing infrastructure for above sites, such as security posts, feeding platforms, fencing, etc.
  • Taking measures to protect these sites indefinitely including supporting forest rangers/anti-logging operations/fire-fighting
  • Reforestation and regeneration activities including wildlife corridors
  • Working with industries that pose a risk to orangutan habitat, such as the palm oil industry, to minimise impact in these areas
  • Education, outreach and empowerment in communities living in orangutan habitat areas to protect these areas
  • Lobbying local and national authorities to protect orangutan habitat

Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board as well as the Board of Trustees of OLT, along with advice from other organizations, is very integral and respected by this Trust in providing guidance for the best use of funds and providing robust evidence of achievements. 

Members: Fitrian Ardiansyah, Jito Sugardjito, Simon Husson, Helen Murrogh-Bernard, Marc Ancrenaz, Ian Singleton and Erik Meijaard, Mark Harrison, Susan Cheyne, Benoit Goossens, Graham Usher, Meredith Bastian, Serge Wich, and Isabelle Lackman.

Dr Ian Singleton

Scientific Advisory Board member

Dr Ian Singleton is Director of Conservation at PanEco Foundation and Scientific Director for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program.

Dr Marc Ancrenaz

Scientific Advisory Board member

Dr Marc Ancrenaz is the Founder, Director and lead researcher for Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project, and Co-Founder and Scientific Director of Project HUTAN.

Dr Erik Meijaard

Scientific Advisory Board member

Dr Erik Meijaard has worked as a forest conservation scientist in Indonesia since 1992. He has broad research interests, ranging from mammal taxonomy and Asian biogeography to conservation economics, forest management, and spatial optimization studies.


Administration Team

Team: Lone Droscher-Nielsen, Michelle Desilets, Jessica McKelson, Dr David Chivers, Dr Simon Lord, Claire McClardy, and Adam Leather.

Lone Droscher-Nielsen

President and Patron

Lone Droscher-Nielsen is known internationally as a champion for orangutans, and as one of the foremost experts in the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of these orangutans. She is the founder of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project in Central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.

Michelle Desilets

Executive Director

Michelle Desilets has been working alongside Lone Droscher Nielsen in orangutan conservation for over 18 years. She founded both Borneo Orangutan Survival UK and Orangutan Land Trust.