It’s mid-January and Annie Ang is back from her impromptu trip to the Tasikoki Wildlife Centre! With the aim of stopping the illegal wildlife trade, the centre was strategically set up in North Sulawesi, the centre and crucial trading point for animals such as the orangutans, tasiers, sunbears, pangolins and even gibbons through the region.
Tasikoki has become part of the Masarang Foundation since 2010 – and you may have heard of MF if you have followed Willie Smits’ websites before. Say who?
In October last year I brought Annie and a few other friends to a talk Willie Smits was giving at the National Geographic store in Vivocity – a “Think and Drink” organised by the Singapore International Foundation and Syinc. And what I heard from him astounded me.
His efforts for the past 30 years have been extraordinary – and this man just keeps going, and going. An avid protector of organutans and the forests they live in, he brings to life all kinds of action plans dedicated to resolving the root causes of deforestation, supports local governors and initiatives, and resynthesizes the way people deal with these problems.
Annie met with the man himself – and she’ll have a guest post or two to share her experience on this trip, at the centre and actually seeing all these ‘problems’ we learn in class face to face.