Protecting, Rewilding and Regenerating West Toba Forest*
- Forest edge communities in Sumatra are key to protecting a vital wildlife corridor in West Toba
- Lush releases a limited-edition Orangutan bath bomb to raise funds to support local communities in orangutan-friendly livelihoods
- Forest Bathing; jump in and soak up the sounds of the Sumatran rainforest with a soundscape hidden inside the Orangutan bath bomb.
From the 9th May, Lush is supporting SOS (Sumatran Orangutan Society) to bring global awareness to a little-known wildlife haven, West Toba, and support communities there in protecting their incredible rainforests with this latest campaign. Lush funded a study to map orangutan habitats in Sumatra, in 2018. From that study, West Toba has been identified as a critical area of the Sumatran rainforest for the preservation of endangered megafauna, including Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, gibbons, hornbills and sun bears.
There is a forest corridor connecting the habitat of orangutans and other wildlife in this biodiversity hotspot, and forest-edge communities. Together with frontline partners , SOS and Lush are supporting conservation actions to safeguard this vital ecosystem.
“SOS is absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Lush. The campaign will help ensure that orangutans can thrive in the wild, whilst connecting Lush’s customers all over the world with the orangutans’ incredible forest home. West Toba is one of the most important areas of rainforest on the planet and, thanks to this partnership, we can empower forest-edge communities to protect it for the future, so people, orangutans and the planet can thrive.”
– Helen Buckland, SOS Director
“This next campaign in partnership with SOS marks a vital step towards the protection of Sumatran orangutans, tigers and other megafauna. Much of our work over the last decade has been centred around regeneration of the natural world and communities so both can prosper. With the introduction of regenerative methods of farming such as agroforestry we hope to explore ways that forest-edge communities can grow crops and protect precious species at the same time. SOS is a charity focused on supporting community involvement to ensure forests are thriving in generations to come.”
– Cadi Pink, Lush, Supply Chain Impact and Environmental Impact
SOS needs to raise vital funds to kick off the long term protection and regeneration of forests in West Toba. The funds will be spent on conservation initiatives that the communities of West Toba, SOS and their frontline partners have co-created. These are the 2 objectives:
- Securing a wildlife corridor between forests to reconnect orangutans and other endangered megafauna and safeguard their future.
- Giving forest-edge communities in West Toba the tools they need to plant the seeds of truly sustainable development.
To support this effort, Lush will release a limited edition bath bomb, Orangutan (£4), available in shops and online. All profits made from this product will be used to support conservation actions in West Toba. This bath bomb contains regenerative Sumatran dark patchouli oil from Sumatra creating an enticing, grounding scent.
Inside each bath bomb, there is a ticket that will invite the bather to ‘Immerse yourself in the sounds of the Sumatran rainforest, home to the orangutans you helped to protect.’ providing a QR code to a webpage where customers can download a soundscape recorded to connect them deep within the forest at West Toba.
The soundscape includes sounds of the wildlife in the forest – gibbons calling, monkeys chattering, birds singing – and the incredible orangutan long call. Listeners will be immersed in the sounds of the rainforest, and be transported to a jungle, buzzing with life.
Notes for Editors
About the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS)
SOS works to protect critically endangered Sumatran & Tapanuli orangutans, their forests and their future across northern Sumatra including the unique Leuser ecosystem – the only landscape on the planet where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos still live together in the wild.
There are only 14,000 Sumatran orangutans and 800 Tapanuli orangutans left in the wild, and they are all located in northern Sumatra where SOS works. Both species are Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List, and the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is the most endangered great ape in the world. SOS works with a network of local partners in orangutan landscapes to 1.) co-design and deliver actions that support the long-term conservation of orangutans and their habitat; 2.) scale up the reach and impact of conservation programmes; and 3.) enable forest-edge communities to benefit from the protection of orangutans and their irreplaceable rainforest home.
SOS consistently champions the essential role of forest-edge communities in successful conservation. Working in partnership with local communities is at the heart of and key to the long term success of SOS’s conservation and rewilding efforts in northern Sumatra.
Lush invent, manufacture and retails fresh handmade cosmetics. A beauty company with a campaigning heart, Lush is passionate about direct action and uses its stores around the world as a platform to shed light on little known social and environmental issues.
Lush Press Office contact details: [email protected] / 020 7434 3948
*Header Image Credit: Binsar Bakkara