The Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group believes effective conservation is about people. We are an evaluated capacity strengthening and expertise network that brings together all those working with orangutans, in- and ex-situ, to share knowledge and skills.

This consolidation of experts includes many from a wide variety of Indonesian and Malaysian organisations, improving their individual impact and empowering them to lead on conservation concerns with a united voice, enabling appropriate in-country solutions. This ethos gels seamlessly with Conservation Optimisms mission. Positive messaging from conservation are often lost amongst the doom and gloom.

OVAG see’s conservation optimism’s vision of putting inspiring stories of people valuing and nurturing their natural environment to the forefront of the conservation debate as vital to re-engage with the majority of humanity that is not focused on environmental conservation.

This disengagement is often due to the feeling of helplessness people feel when faced with the environmental issues surrounding us. Conservation Optimism provides a ray of hope for all by highlighting the positive. OVAG works because of the people within the network and we know we can add further weight to Conservation Optimisms message, just as you can support our work.

OVAG’s programs are based on the One Health concept and practice using the orangutan as a species model to provide participants with skills in wildlife clinical needs, public health and ecosystem health. This is provided via practical, didactic and problem-based workshops, co-ordinated research, an online advisory, and OVAG acting as an advocate between participants and their organizations.

This One Health approach is not only vital to tackle wildlife health problems but as a message it integrates human, animal and environmental issues factually to lend weight to the reality that we as a species are not separate from ‘the environment’ and that we have the power to alter it fundamentally – positively as well as negatively.

OVAG participants include veterinarians, academics, researchers, project managers, and government authorities from Indonesia, Malaysia, and around the globe. As a group, they provide direct input into conservation management at the NGO level individually and government level collectively.

Thus, OVAG’s key objective is to support the creation of a sustainable regional cadre of professionals able to provide capacity building, advice, guidance and management of One Health matters with a wildlife focus in Indonesia and Malaysia. The ConservationNOW network can greatly enhance OVAG’s role in this.