Fernando Potess, CEO of People Resources and Conservation Foundation.
PRCF is undergoing transformation, getting stronger, and doing better work in more exciting places. In the meantime, we remain focused on improving biodiversity conservation through close collaboration with and support for communities most relative to areas rich in biodiversity.
It has been an amazing journey to see how the PRCF has progressed and developed over two decades. We started with our small first project in 1995, supporting an isolated Dayak village in West Kalimantan to secure access to clean spring water. We now have ongoing multi-faceted biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic development projects in West Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, as well as at various locations in Vietnam, with programs developing in other countries.
Our work is characterized by the single overarching theme of “working with people to help protect their natural environment.” This theme serves as a prime directive to involve local communities in all aspects of project planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Threatened biodiversity and flagship globally threatened species, especially primates, bring us to a location. Understanding the needs of local people then guides our first steps to developing a long-term program of nature conservation and community development.
Our achievements result from the hard work of our team of highly professional and dedicated staff, some of whom have been with the organization since its beginning. Similarly, PRCF’s achievements would not be nearly as significant as they are if it were not for the support of our strong local community and government partnerships.
In West Kalimantan, we have recently and quickly expanded our program to harness improvements to Indonesia’s social forestry laws, which enable villages to obtain rights to manage state forests and provide benefits for forest protection and the communities that protect them. In North Sumatra, we are working within a close-knit coalition of local non-government organizations to help protect and extend the habitat of the Tapanuli Orangutan; the rarest of the three species of Orangutan.
In Vietnam, we also focus on primate sites, with nearly two decades protecting the Endangered Francois’ Langur and over a decade restoring the habitat of the Critically Endangered Cao Vit Gibbon. Meanwhile, we are initiating work to establish a biodiversity conservation corridor between two protected areas in the biodiversity-rich Central Highlands of Vietnam.
This is just a snapshot of where we are now; we hope you will enjoy our revamped and updated website to learn more about PRCF work and keep coming back.