Orangutan mother and infant © istock.com Back to overview

Defending rainforests in Southeast Asia

Imagine Southeast Asia’s rainforests and the image of an orangutan often comes to mind. These forests are the last refuge of the iconic great apes, but also Sumatran tigers, birds of paradise and Komodo dragons.


The tens of thousands of large and small islands of Southeast Asia are a unique playground of evolution, with distinct worlds of plants and wildlife in each region: Western Indonesia is characterized by mighty bifoliate fruit trees and is home to tigers and rhinos. The eastern edges of the subcontinent, extending as far as Papua New Guinea and even Australia, are biological hotspots, with ancient forests containing countless species that have not yet been documented. Asia’s only great apes, the orangutans, live in the peat swamp forests of Sumatra and Borneo.

Hundreds of Indigenous peoples are at home in the forests they protect. Many revere the forest as a mother who gives them everything they need. But oil palm and pulp plantations are destroying the homes of people and habitat of wildlife, and mining is also inflicting deep wounds on these unique rainforests. The consequences are dramatic as nature’s balance is disrupted: Erosion washes away soils, floods sweep away settlements and droughts wipe out entire crops. The climate emergency is already being felt by many people here and it is getting worse due to deforestation.

There is still a lot to save, and together with our partners we are doing all we can to defend the rainforests. Our partners on the ground resist corporations, demand forest rights, plant trees and give people hope.

Your donation for our work in Southeast Asia supports these projects and others:

Tree kangaroo in Papua

Forest rights in Papua

The rainforests in Papua are experiencing an unprecedented onslaught of timber, palm oil and mining companies. With the destruction of the forest, Indigenous Papuans are losing their livelihoods. The environmental and human rights organization Pusaka is mounting a defense against deforestation and land grabbing. 

Indigenous Dayak Tomun in Kinipan forest

Support for environmentalists on Borneo

Orangutans stand like no other species for the natural treasures being destroyed for palm oil plantations. Their habitat is dwindling day by day. Together with our partners, we are working to put an end to the often illegal activities of palm oil companies.

Matek Geram standing near a drainage ditch

Defending against land grabbing in Sarawak

Environmentalist Matek Geram tirelessly defends Malaysia's rainforests against palm oil companies and loggers. Matek and the Indigenous organization SADIA map the land of the Indigenous Iban people to secure their land rights, giving them the legal standing to sue companies that encroach on the forests.

Your donation for the rainforest

Orangutan mother and infant

Choose a currency and use the slider, or enter the amount directly

Donation receipts We issue receipts for the previous year in February/March. With regard to the deductibility of your donation, please contact your local tax authorities.

Non-profit status Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald e.V.) is registered as a non-profit organization in Hamburg, Germany.

Secure data We use encrypted (TSL/SSL) communication to protect your data against unauthorized access.

Canceling recurring donations Recurring donations can be canceled at any time: just email us at info@rainforest-rescue.org.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay in the loop on rainforest conservation issues with our free newsletter!