Mandarin Oriental Hotel: Save the Tapanuli Orangutan

Mighty Earth is joining the Ape Alliance and other allies in a dramatic protest to draw attention to the precarious state of the Tapanuli orangutan, an endangered ape threatened by industrial development. This great ape was discovered only recently, but is already in danger of extinction; it is estimated that there are only 800 of them left in the world.

Multinational corporation Jardine Matheson — owner of the internationally acclaimed, 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotels — also owns Astra International, one of Indonesia’s largest companies. They also recently purchased the Martabe gold mine, which lies within Batang Toru, Sumatra, the only habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan. This habitat, the orangutans, and the livelihoods of local communities are all threatened by the massive Batang Toru hydroelectric dam project that has already begun destroying the forest to make room for the dam and support infrastructure.

This Martabe mine uses a huge amount of electricity to operate its smelters.  In the name of meeting the demand for electricity, the Indonesian state-owned utility has sought backing from  Chinese financiers and hydro companies to build the Batang Toru dam. There is a massive geothermal energy plant just miles away from the mine that could be further expanded to provide more clean electricity than the dam ever would.

The Batang Toru dam  would permanently fragment the Tapanuli orangutan’s habitat, breaking the forest into areas that are too small for them to survive over the long-term.  If just one percent of the population– that eight individuals is lost each year, the Tapanuli will go extinct. This orangutan species has no room for error in the fight for its existence.   

Jardines has the influence needed to help stop the dam — but they have so far refused to act. These protests will encourage them to protect the most endangered great ape on earth. Similar protests in recent weeks have already brought the Bank of China, the project’s major financier, to the negotiating table.

Sign the petition!