Conserving and Protecting the Singing Apes
Gibbon Conservation Society or GCS, is a Malaysian NGO that was founded in 2013. We believe it is important to approach conservation from every possible angle in order to truly solve the issues faced by our wildlife. That is why we work towards a comprehensive approach that not only tackles rehabilitation and the wildlife trade, but also empowers individuals, collaborates with communities, contributes to scientific research, spreads awareness across the globe and so much more. We believe without the involvement of all levels of communities, conservation will fail before it starts.
Our society is constantly growing and being ‘re-innovated’. In 2013, when founder Mariani Ramli a.k.a Bam was tasked to care for an infant gibbon, a species she knew nothing about, she researched and learned everything she could. She studied international guidelines and consulted with experts form all over the world. She held firm the belief that we must always keep learning, improving and finding new solutions. That mindset is how GCS has established the only internationally accredited rehabilitation centre for gibbons in Malaysia and how it continues to grow and has become a reference for similar projects in other countries.
Bam never planned or expected things to turn out the way they have. She only wanted to help that first infant gibbon and did everything she could to achieve that goal. Today, our society’s motivations remain the same, we only want to do the very best we possibly can to help these endangered animals and so we continuously innovate and find new solutions everyday to make that a reality.
Our two main projects – Malaya Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (Malaya GReP) and Borneo Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (Borneo GReP) are dedicated to helping former victims of the pet trade or human-wildlife conflict relearn their natural behaviours so that they can be returned to the wild.
If you’ve ever heard the melody of a gibbon’s song, you will know just how precious they are. I have spent many years surrounded by their sound at our rehabilitation and find myself searching for that very sound in wild locations, only to be disappointed. As endangered species, they are dwindling, hanging by a thread. There are so few voices left.
“It is my life goal and the goal of GCS to bring this melody back to the forest. They are victims of human greed with entire families kill to get one baby gibbon as a pet, who is then treated most cruelly. These singing apes are a key part of our forest ecosystem.
I am very grateful that our organisation has reached a stage that it can be featured on a platform like Ecoflix. But we still have a long way to go, it can take almost 15 years for one single gibbon to complete rehabilitation. It’s a long and complicated process, which incurs a lot of costs. We do our best to ensure self sustainability – selling eco products like organic soaps, scrubs, providing eco-edu tourism programs, planting our own food garden but we are no where near being fully independent yet.
By subscribing to Ecoflix on our behalf, you are helping these victims of the pet trade have a new chance at life and at freedom, and giving us a chance to do more for them and for the local communities that live near our forest. I cannot thank you enough and I know the gibbons are eternally grateful for your support.”
– Mariani ‘Bam’ Ramli – Founder and President.