AN EAST Oxford charity campaigning to save endangered orangutans in Indonesia has praised the work of a former city student.

The Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS), in Cowley Road, aims to protect orangutans and their forest habitats in Sumatra, Indonesia.

It was set up in 1997 and in 2001 co-founded its Indonesian-based charity partner Orangutan Information Centre (OIC).

Director of the OIC Panut Hadisiswoyo, a former student at Oxford Brookes University, was honoured last month at The Whitley Awards, which celebrate conservation projects around the world.

He walked away with the Conservation in Ape Habit award for his work creating conservation villages in tropical rainforests of the Leuser Ecosystem of Sumatra.

Director of SOS Helen Buckland said: “I have worked alongside Panut for almost a decade, supporting him and his team in delivering frontline conservation programmes that have a real impact on the fate of Sumatran orangutans and their forests.

“It is truly fantastic to see his remarkable commitment and passion for the cause honoured with such a prestigious award.”

Mr Hadisiswoyo, who studied primate conservation at Brookes, was presented his award by Princess Anne.

He said: “I am deeply honoured. I am committed to being a champion for the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, and This award will really help to shine a spotlight on the rainforests of Sumatra, one of the world’s most precious, and most threatened, biodiversity hotspots.”

Both charities run conservation projects which include forest restoration and orangutan rescue.