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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yayasan Palung in the News

Last May, Yayasan Palung hosted a delegation of 14 U.S. news editors in cooperation with Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and Tempo Magazine.  The delegations are an annual undertaking to improve the quality of international news coverage in the U.S., and in 2011 they visited Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Ketapang to learn more about Indonesia.  While in Yogya and Jakarta the delegation explored issues around public health and religion, Yayasan Palung organized the Ketapang portion to study issues concerning orangutan conservation, palm oil expansion, and indigenous land rights.

The editors, coming from major print, radio and internet new outlets, met with village leaders, the Bupati of Kayong Utara, national park officials, local NGOs and others living around Gunung Palung National Park.  Orangutan research field manager Gail Campbell-Smith did a radio interview for National Geographic, who also featured an article on their blog on the conservation efforts of Riam Berasap Jaya’s village head, Pak Bastarin Kask.  Time magazine also produced a short video about Pak Bastarin and palm oil for their website.  The delegation also had editors from U.S. newspapers, and articles on local struggles with palm oil included this piece in the San Francisco Chronicle and a front page article in the New York Times on the boom in swiftlet houses for birds nest soup, which was reprinted in other papers such as the Age (Australia) and the Scotsman (UK).

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