History

Photo: Founding members of PRCF at Nanga Juoi, our first project site.

The PRCF was established in 1995 by a dedicated team of conservation professionals. The organization is incorporated under Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code, with US Internal Revenue EIN 75-2641707.

Our activities initiated in Indonesia, where our founding members supported a rural water project in the remote village of Nanga Juoi in West Kalimantan. We then continued our work with the villagers to support some of their endeavours to become economically self-sufficient through fishponds. This contributed to a reduced negative impact of the villagers to the surrounding protected forests of Bukit Baka – Bukit Raya National Park, of specific benefit to the endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus).

PRCF has grown steadily since its inception, and now implements projects throughout South-east Asia including programs in Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia, with programs in the drawing for the Philippines. Since 2010, we also manage the Regional Network of Indigenous People (RNIP). This network of community-based organizations helps poor indigenous communities improve their living conditions while promoting sustainable use of resources and biodiversity conservation.

Highlights of our 17 year history include:

  • Supporting women weavers in West Kalimantan to form the JMM Cooperative, with our partners Kobus Foundation and Yayasan Swadaya Dian Khatulistiwa (YSDK). The cooperative, whose name translates to “weavers go independent”, has over 930 members and provides an income for marginalized, Dayak women through the sales of traditional weaving.
  • Discovering new groups of globally threatened primate species: Francois’ Langur and Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey in Vietnam. The PRCF is currently setting up innovative, community-based conservation activities aiming to protect these primates while creating awareness and conservation-based economic opportunities for the surrounding communities.
  • Placing local people on Protected Area Management Boards in Vietnam, an unprecedented act in this country. Fair representation now exists on the board from all of the communities living within and in the immediate surroundings of the protected area.
  • Identifying the second most important site, globally, for the critically endangered White-shouldered Ibis. Information about this rare, enigmatic bird was limited, making conservation planning for the species difficult. By supporting the most significant ibis census in Cambodia, led by local nationals, targeted activities can be implemented towards its protection.
  • Discovering a new primate species to science: the Burmese Snub-nosed Monkey, with our partners Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI).
PRCF operations are managed from a small, home office in Los Angeles, California and an Asian Secretariat in Hanoi, Vietnam. Country program offices exist in Vietnam and Indonesia. A shared office space is used with our partners in Cambodia and Myanmar.