Orang Utan Republik Foundation & The Orangutan Project to Hold Annual Pongo Awards to Honor Environmental Achievement, Launch New Book, and Benefit Critically Endangered Orangutans

The evening fundraising gala will honor the Netflix series "Our Planet," The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, The Gecko Project, Renowned Orangutan Researcher Anne Russon, and Orangutan Expert and Author Leif Cocks.


SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) and actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. (star of ABC's "Bless this Mess") will honor individuals for environmental achievement, activism, news, television, advocacy, and orangutan conservation at the 6th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards to be held on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at the Playa Studios in Culver City, CA. The "Pongo Awards" are a co-production of OURF and The Orangutan Project (TOP).

The evening raises funds for OURF to save wild critically endangered orangutans from extinction and is dedicated to honoring individuals, organizations, and projects that have contributed to the improved understanding and appreciation of orangutans, endangered species, rainforest habitat, and for improving conditions for orangutans and other animals.

Our Planet LDFAnne

This year's recipients of the 6th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards include:

  • Series producers Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey for Netflix's "Our Planet"
  • Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and its Executive Director Justin Winters for sustained and significant environmental activism and philanthropy
  • Dr. Anne Russon, for her 30 years of cognitive and behavioral studies of the Bornean orangutan
  • Tom Johnson and The Gecko Project for investigative journalism uncovering the corrupt aspects of Bornean politics and palm oil
  • A special award will go to international orangutan expert, Australian Leif Cocks, for sustained advocacy supporting orangutan survival in Indonesia.


Leif Cocks, TOP-president and founder and OURF vice president and a featured keynote speaker this year, will be signing copies of his new book, "Finding Our Humanity," an uncommon journey into what the great apes, our tribal past and a more philosophical approach to life can teach us about our humanity.

The evening gala (7-10:30pm) will also feature surprise celebrity appearances, vegan food by celebrity chef Bruce Kalman, an open bar, musical entertainment by Katey Sagal and the Reluctant Apostles, LA-based Australian band Desert Sparrow, and live and silent auctions with unique and exclusive items. Tickets are limited and can be purchased via Eventbrite at http://theorangutanproject.org/LA


Previous Pongo Award recipients have included Ed Begley, Jr., Dr. Jane Goodall, orangutan expert Dr. Cheryl Knott, Professor and climate advocate Michael Mann, the producers of the film "The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," and more.

The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) (www.orangutanrepublik.org) is a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity with a mission to save wild orangutans through education initiatives and innovative, collaborative projects. It also serves as the US chapter of The Orangutan Project expanding its reach and support to over a dozen orangutan support organizations in Indonesia and Malaysia (www.theorangutanproject.org)

Event Info:
The Pongo Awards
Thursday, June 27, 2019 
Playa Studios
11260 Playa Ct, Culver City, CA 90230
Tickets: https://finding-our- humanity-la.eventbrite.com/

Video from previous Pongo Awards Honorees:

Jane Goodall Pongo Environmental Award Acceptance Speech

Louie Psihoyos's Pongo Award acceptance speech for "Racing Extinction"

Fisher Stevens Acceptance Speech Pongo Environmental Award

Bill Weir Acceptance Speech Pongo Environmental Award

Additional information on the Pongo Awards:

SOURCE Orang Utan Republik Foundation

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