Orang Utan Republik Foundation to Hold 2023 Pongo Awards to Honor Environmental Achievement and Benefit Critically Endangered Orangutans

Santa Monica, CA, September 26, 2023 –(PR.com)– The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) and actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. and NBC weathercaster Dagmar Midcap will honor environmental achievement, activism, advocacy, and orangutan conservation at the 9th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards to be held on held from on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from 5-9 p.m. at the Building Bridges Art Exchange located at the iconic Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica, CA.

This year’s Pongo Environmental Awards will feature an intimate talk from James Balog, sharing his thoughts and stunning images of biodiversity and our dramatically changing planet. The Pongo Awards, presented by the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF), brings together local and global conservationists for an evening of advocacy and entertainment.

Previous honorees have included Dr. Jane Goodall, James Cameron’s “Years of Living Dangerously”; Netflix and their groundbreaking series, “Our Planet”; Louie Psihoyos for “Racing Extinction”; “Guardians of Life” starring Joaquin Phoenix; global climate advocate; Climatologist Michael Mann; Mongabay, and CEO and founder Rhett Butler, an award-winning source of environmental news reporting; NGOs Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and Rainforest Trust, among others.

The Pongo Environmental Awards, presented by the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF), have a dual (or twofold) purpose: to raise funds for OURF’s crucial work to save wild, critically endangered orangutans from extinction and to honor those who have made significant contributions to understanding and appreciating orangutans, endangered species, rainforest habitat, and improving conditions for orangutans and other animals.

This year’s recipients of the 9th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards include:
● James Balog (Earth Vision Institute): Balog is a scientist, photographer, filmmaker and author with decades of work capturing stunning images of our changes to our fragile planet.
● Heal the Bay: being honored for their impressive four decades of environmental advocacy, science, education, and protecting the coastal waters in the Greater Los Angeles area.
● Forum Konservasi Leuser: honoring the organization and their local leadership for years of effective environmental activism, and conservation of the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Sumatra

The theme of this year’s fundraiser, which is open to the public, is “Biodiversity Matters – Our LIVES Depend on It.” This theme emphasizes the urgent need to take action to prevent ecosystem collapse. We can no longer wait. Indonesia, which makes up only 1.3% of the world’s land surface, is a hotspot of biodiversity, hosting 17% of the world’s bird species, 16% of the world’s reptiles, 12% of the world’s mammals, and 10% of the world’s flowering species. According to World Wildlife Fund the world has seen an average 68% drop in mammal, bird, fish, reptile, and amphibian populations since 1970. Much of the loss is caused by habitat destruction due to unsustainable agriculture or logging.

This year’s event, open to the public, will include Balinese dance performances from Krama Bali LA, and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy wine and gourmet vegan/vegetarian Indonesian cuisine. Additionally, there will be a special live and silent auction featuring rare sports, music and entertainment collectables. This collection will include signed treasures from Springsteen, the Eagles, McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Star Wars & Lionel Messi, and others. Tickets to attend the awards are available to the public at pongoawards.org.