There are four kinds of great apes, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orang-utans, on this planet. Only the orang-utans originate from Asia whereas the other three are from Africa. The orang-utans, whose name in bahasa Indonesia literally means “man of the forest” (orang – man, hutan – forest), are now found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The species has become extinct or near-extinct in rest of the south-east Asia. Programmes like Borneo Orang-utan survival (BOS), with foreign finances and local manpower, are trying to save as many of these apes that share 97% of its DNA with us humans. Orangs are intelligent animals with ability to reason, think and display emotion much like humans. But these primate cousins of ours are on the brink of extinction owing to our reckless hunger for timber. 300 football fields worth of rainforests are destroyed every hour in the hunt for the resources to be used in and as food, oil, fuel etc. Measures like the moratorium on logging imposed by Indonesian government are much needed. But the only long-term solution is for people themselves to become aware of the consequences of their actions and restrict themselves.The RTR09 project developed by the Eco Preservation Society is implemented in conjunction with BOS Foundation. With help of locals, the BOS carries out projects like the Nyaru Menteng project that features in the Orang-utan diary on BBC2 showing from March 1. The sustained replanting of the Borneo rainforests over the next 10 years will much help in boosting the number of Orang-utans in the area and hence stop the species from becoming extinct. Let us do our bit in looking after the planet and its other habitants. This will only mean that we are helping ourselves to a better future.