💼 Founding Director, Orangutan Information Centre
🎓 MA Communication Studies, University of Leeds (2003)
Panut is a leading conservationist with more than 20 years’ experience of running environmental education, community development, and capacity-building programmes. He has developed a community-integrated approach to park management and conservation by bringing local communities to the frontline of park management in Indonesia.
Since 2001, he has led the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), a group he founded in his native Sumatra, to help save the critically endangered species there. The OIC has led a number of projects to restore huge swathes of degraded forests, securing areas for orangutans and other animals to live without danger. The organisation aims to leave a lasting legacy by inspiring and empowering the next generation of Indonesian conservationists.
Panut has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards recognising his pioneering work in conservation, including National Geographic’s Emerging Explorer Award, UK’s Whitley Award, Ashoka Fellowship Award, the World Wildlife Fund’s Russell E. Train Education for Nature Award, and the UN GRASP’s Ian Redmond Conservation Award. Panut has also been appointed by Lush ltd, a UK-based, leading cosmetics company, as their Indonesia director, to ensure sustainable sourcing and oversee forest restoration works in Indonesia.
What is the most important thing you learned during your experience?
The most important thing that I have learned during my time as a Chevening Scholar was how to expand my own professional network. Meeting other conservationists and nature experts from around the world inspired me to increase my efforts to protect the orangutans and the rainforests in Indonesia.
What message would you share with the next generation of Chevening Scholars?
My advice for Chevening Scholars is keep struggling, keep fighting, and never give up, there is nothing that is impossible. Do what you love, and love what you do.
What does Chevening mean to you?
To me, Chevening means the future: Chevening helped to create my future, it provided me with many opportunities and led me to what am I doing now, as a conservationist, working towards saving our nature, our own planet.
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