Indonesia is the target country for OVAG, as it is home to 90% of all wild orangutan population, as well as their ever decreasing habitat, the low land tropical rain forest.
The main challenge in orangutan conservation in Indonesia is habitat destruction, due to forest conversion (into monoculture plantations and minings),climate change, and human encroachment.
This situation has warrant that there need to be rescue centers and sanctuaries to save the orangutans and attempt to return them back to the forest.
Currently there are up to ten orangutan rescue /rehabilitation centers and reintroduction sites that operates in Indonesia. Veterinary care is an important of the facilities, thus there is the need for dedicated professional vets in this area. However, many vets started their job in orangutan centers with minimal experience and knowledge (as primate and wildlife are rarely taught in vet schools). There was also a lack of opportunities to learn and train in this field.
OVAG was created to tackle this very issue. The annual workshops that has been held since 2009 provide a structured learning on veterinary technique, conservation management issues, as well as professional issues such as communication skills.
OVAG workshops that had been held in Indonesia:
Workshop 1: Samboja, Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur
Workshop 2: Medan, Sumatra Utara
Workshop 3: Jogjakarta
Workshop 5: Bogor, Jawa Barat
Workshop 6: Yogyakarta
Workshop 7: Yogyakarta
Workshop 9: Yogyakarta
Workshop 10: Banda Aceh, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
In 2015 (7th Workshop) OVAG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) where UGM will be our home base in Indonesia, therefore most workshops will be done in UGM.
In the same year OVAG has been granted credit point value from the Indonesian Veterinary Medicine Association (IVMA) as a certified Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program.