Ilham Pratama, a recipient of the prestigious West Bornean Orangutan Caring Scholarship (WBOCS) Program in 2017, has emerged as a passionate and dedicated conservationist. The WBOCS program has not only provided Ilham with the opportunity to pursue education but has also shaped his perspective on preparing for the future as a new-generation conservationist. Through the guidance and training provided by the Palung Foundation and Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF), Ilham has gained valuable knowledge and experiences that have molded him into an advocate for orangutan conservation.
Reflecting on his journey towards graduation, Ilham acknowledges the challenges he faced but expresses gratitude for the opportunities that came his way. In January 2022, he began working on his thesis, which he considers the culmination of his academic and experiential learning. As a WBOCS scholarship recipient, completing his thesis is his contribution to the scholarship organizers and the field of orangutan conservation.
Ilham gathers data on for his research
Ilham's research focused on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and wildlife management, with a specific emphasis on orangutans. He conducted his research in Gunung Palung National Park (TNGP), visiting the Panti Branch Research Station (SRCP) and Sungai Rangkong. The objective of his research was to gather data on spatial models and habitat suitability estimates throughout the Gunung Palung National Park area. This research aimed to facilitate orangutan conservation efforts by providing valuable references for future studies in previously unexplored areas.
Ilham gathers data with the help of research assistants.
On October 23, 2023, Ilham proudly graduated from the University of Tanjung Pura's Faculty of Forestry, despite facing some delays. This achievement holds immense value for him as he fulfilled his responsibilities to the scholarship organizers. As a fresh forestry graduate, Ilham wasted no time in making a difference. He embarked on an eight-month project with a non-governmental organization (NGO), where he worked as a spatial data supporter for independent oil palm farmers and indigenous communities in the Sanggau District. Additionally, Ilham has been actively involved in various roles, such as an enumerator, surveyor, specialist, and freelancer in forestry and environmental projects since 2018.
Passionate about capturing environmental issues through the lens, Ilham has also pursued freelance photography. He specializes in documenting local culture for documentary films and booklets, further highlighting his commitment to raising awareness about environmental concerns.
Ilham Pratama's journey exemplifies the transformative impact of the WBOCS program. Through his research, fieldwork, and involvement in community projects, Ilham has demonstrated his dedication to orangutan conservation and environmental stewardship. As he continues to explore innovative ways to contribute to the field, Ilham's passion and commitment serve as an inspiration to the next generation of conservationists. With his expertise and creative pursuits, Ilham Pratama is undoubtedly making a lasting impact on the preservation of our natural world.