Since 2014, the relevance of the Pongo Awards has been broadened to include recognizing and honoring individuals and organizations on an annual basis that have contributed to the improved understanding and appreciation of orangutans and endangered species, rainforest habitat, and for improving conditions for orangutans and other animals globally.
The recipients of the 2019 Pongo Environmental Awards are:
The recipients of the 2018 Pongo Environmental Awards are:
The recipients of the 2017 Pongo Environmental Awards are:
Rainforest Action Network. For over three decades of activism and advocacy benefiting the rainforests of the world and campaigns highlighting the detrimental effects of large-scale agriculture on rainforest ecosystems, wildllife, and people.
Fisher Stevens, For “Before the Flood” a documentary that discusses the dangers of climate change, its effects on endangered species, ecosystems, and native communities, and the possible solutions.
The recipients of the 2016 Pongo Environmental Awards were:
The recipients of the 2015 Pongo Environmental Awards were:
The recipients of the 2014 Pongo Environmental Awards were:
Pongo is the genus for the scientific name of the orangutan: Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean orangutan), Pongo abelii (N. Sumatran orangutan), and Pongo tapanuliensis (Tapanuli orangutan). Pongo, therefore, refers to orangutan in Latin.
The Pongo Awards were originally created to honor individuals for distinguished support to the mission of the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative. The award consists of a certificate with the recipient’s name, date of the honor, a statement as to why the recipient was selected, and a sculpted bust of an adult Bornean male orangutan, mounted on a base with the inscription of the recipient and the date. The orangutan bust design was expertly crafted by artist Jason Shanaman.
The Pongo Awards were first created and presented in November 2006 on the occasion of the Sumatran Orangutan Conference, Workshop and Summit, held in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Four Indonesians received the awards: The Minister of Forestry, M.S. Kaban for officially declaring Orangutan Caring Week in 2005, to Parliament Member and former Miss Indonesia, Angelina Sondakh for serving as “ambassador” for OUREI, to Mr. Ridhwan Effendi, Expert Staff to Ms. Sondakh for creating and overseeing the Orangutan Caring Clubs of Indonesia, and to Mr. Soedomo Mergonoto, Kapal Api Coffee, for providing the initial financial support to OUREI and consistent support to the Indonesian chapter, OUREI Indonesia.
Subsequent Pongo Awards have been presented in the United States to Lisa DeSantis in 2007 for hosting OUREI’s annual fundraiser; to the Australian Orangutan Project (now The Orangutan Project) in 2011 for their sustained support of OUREI and OURF, and to Cheri and Naren Shankar in 2012 for hosting OURF’s annual fundraiser.
Leif Cocks, from AOP, accepting the Pongo Award for his organization via Skype
during the 2011 Annual Fundraiser from OURF President Gary Shapiro.
Since 2014, the relevance of the Pongo Awards has been broadened to include recognizing and honoring individuals and organizations on an annual basis that have contributed to the improved understanding and appreciation of orangutans and endangered species, rainforest habitat, and for improving conditions for orangutans and other animals globally. Such individuals will be from the fields of entertainment, commerce, academia, and government as well as from the non-profit sector. A nominating committee to the Board of OURF will consider nominees for the award and will choose the honored recipients prior to the annual fundraiser.
New Pongo Environmental Awards were first awarded during OURF’s 2014 Annual Fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA on October 19th.