RHOI Deputy Director of Conservation
Intimately known simply as Aldrin, an outgoing fun-loving man with a wicked sense of humor, few people know his significant expertise in forestry, as well as the prominent positions he has been trusted with over the past two decades.
Graduated with honors “cum laude” in forestry from the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Aldrin began his career as a staff for the Indonesian Forest Concessionaires Association (Asosiasi Pengusaha Hutan Indonesia / APHI). At that time, the Balikpapan Orangutan Society (former name of the BOS Foundation) had just barely started in Samboja, in a research station belonging to the Ministry of Forestry. Because the research station was mostly funded by APHI, it reserved the rights to send its staff to train in Samboja. So in 1993, Aldrin was sent to Samboja on an internship.
Even as an intern, Aldrin received several scholarship offers from the British Council and the Gadjah Mada University among many others. He turned them all down and decided to accept a scholarship from Dr. Willie Smits. Dr. Smits is one of the founders of the BOS Foundation. So Aldrin departed to the Netherlands to join the forestry program of the Wageningen University, where he earned his doctorate degree in 2002.
Upon his return to Indonesia, he rejoined his former employer, APHI, and was based in its headquarters in Jakarta. But Dr. Smits, again, offered him an opportunity he could not refuse. Thus in September 2003, Aldrin resigned from APHI and officially became the Land Rehabilitation Manager of the BOS Foundation, based in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan. Not long after, Aldrin was promoted as the East Kalimantan Regional Manager, overseeing not only land but also animals, i.e. the orangutans. And in March 2005, he accepted the role of the Executive Director of the BOS Foundation until 2010.
Although his passion for orangutan conservation remains unchanged, in 2010, Aldrin finally went back to his root in forestry, taking the position as the Deputy Director of Conservation of PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI), a company established by the BOS Foundation with the sole purpose of obtaining ecosystem restoration concessions for releasing orangutans. Aldrin hopes that all orangutans in the BOS Foundation rehabilitation centers will be returned to their natural habitat as soon as possible. “Because it has just been too long,” he said. And for that, Aldrin has been dedicating his time and his expertise to find more forested lands suitable for his beloved orangutans. “The orangutans must return home and we must start now,” he concluded.