Party for the primates (and your money)

This Friday night at Berbati’s Pan is not just another night of great music from some of our multi-talented local musicians.

This Friday night at Berbati’s Pan is not just another night of great music from some of our multi-talented local musicians. This Friday night is called “Party for the Primates,” and it is a fundraiser put together to help raise money for endangered orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. Bands such as Skeletron, And And And, Forest Park and Robot Uprise will be performing along with a special ‘surprise’ band that will only be revealed the night of the event.

It isn’t common that somebody mentions primates when talking about upcoming shows, unless you’re getting your full-body monkey suit ready for your long-awaited (and very outdated) Me First and the Gimme Gimmes concert, but this primate/band combo is what seems to be the talk of the town for this weekend here in Portland.

So, why the sudden concern for these primates? Wildlife foundations such as the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) say that orangutans may not have much time left with us.According to the OFI’s official website: “During the past decade orangutan populations have probably decreased by 50 percent in the wild. Although past climate shifts may have been responsible for some of this decline, orangutans are primarily threatened by human activities and development that cause the loss and degradation of their forest habitats.”

Despite being on the endangered species list for years, these lovable-looking creatures are once again threatened by extinction. This extinction, which scientists and experts predict will happen within 10 to 20 years, will undoubtedly be something that is set in stone if nothing is done about it now.

The foundation, led by world famous primatologist Biruté Galdikas, has been working with these primates for decades. Her work with orangutans in Indonesia, especially Borneo, has earned her the unofficial status as ambassador and protector for these majestic animals.

First inspired by the children’s book “Curious George,” Galdikas has been studying the orangutan longer than anybody in history. She has won numerous awards, including Indonesia’s Hero for the Earth Award (Kalpataru), the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Institute of Human Origins’ Science Award and a PETA Humanitarian Award. Her passion for primates is cherished among many throughout the world.

With all that said, the game plan of the “Party for Primates” is thus—by sending all of the proceeds from the show to Orangutan Foundation International, their intent is to purchase as much precious Borneo rainforest as they can before developers can purchase it for themselves and destroy it for quick profits. One of their philosophies is, “by saving the land we can save the orangutans.”

The developers—who are competing with OFI and the rest of the orangutan population—consist of the typical enterprise of industrial human activity. Some of these include intense legal logging, illegal logging, conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and timber estates, mining, clearing forest for settlements and road construction. Without the help of foundations like OFI, the species wouldn’t stand a chance against their quickly expanding human neighbors.

With the help of this fundraiser, which will buy back a land that is rapidly being stripped from Borneo’s wildlife, and venues like Berbati’s Pan, orangutans may still have hope of facing this grim outlook they are up against. Don’t hesitate to spread the word about this fundraiser, and head downtown this Friday to listen to some mighty fine music and to help support these primates in their fight with the industrial side of man.?