The team behind Masarang

Masarang’s innovative projects and work would not exist without the efforts and the willpower of many volunteers, especially in Indonesia, who are committed to nature conservation and local development with unremitting dedication.


Willie Smits

“I initiated the Masarang Foundation in the year 2001 based upon the traditional values of the local Tombulu people to preserve the fast vanishing and unique biodiversity of the island of Sulawesi. Originally we hoped to preserve the local culture and knowhow of the local people and to do reforestation of the denuded slopes of the Masarang Mountain. Soon we learned that it would take much more… Now I dare say that our greatly scaled-up work in North Sulawesi has become exemplary for its integration of social acceptability, environmental sustainability and economic feasibility. We are proud to now share our positive results with people from all around Indonesia.

Dudung Pakpahan

“Masarang final goal is, save the nature while improve local people life quality…
This goal is my dream and the purpose of my long journey as Environment Conservation activist… 
So reach that goal is like to make my dream come true…
The challenge is huge, the road is oftenly stiff.. Only the strong heart and believe can make us move forward to reach the goal…”

Billy Lolowang

“I believe every wildlife belong in the wild playing their own role in ecosystem that benefit human in every aspects to protect the nature where we share space to live.
Nothing better to see the animals in the wild, not being kept as pets. And Masarang Foundation especially Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre give me opportunity to contribute in the wildlife conservation, to give opportunity and hopes for the rescued wildlife to be back to its habitat.”

Hans van Willige

“Masarang cleverly integrates nature conservation, technological innovation, and economic viability to protect and restore the rainforests and wildlife in Indonesia. Involving and engaging the local communities makes the Masarang initiatives sustainable across all dimensions. Willie Smits is Masarang’s founder and inspirational leader. The wider team is equally inspiring and consists of passionate people who work with heart and soul for the environment. My personal family ties with Indonesia are an extra reason to dedicate time and energy to Masarang.”

Rowena Facee Schaeffer

“By working in primate rescue centers like Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre in Sulawesi and Sintang Orangutan Center in Kalimantan, I saw with my own eyes the impact of the deforestation caused by the oil palm industry. At the same time I learned that there are alternatives and solutions with Masarang’s projects. Not only for the rainforest, wildlife and biodiversity, but also for the local populations, who are deeply affected by the deforestation. Time is of the essence and that is why I gladly contribute.”

Miranda Ruchtie

“One action doesn’t restore the rainforests, but it starts making the situation better.
What would our life look like without rainforests? How would my life be without animals? My heart belongs to animals. For me, they are the most wonderful creatures on our planet, and they are calling for our help. With my work for Masarang, I can contribute to the protection of animals and the restoration of their habitat. My heart belongs to the magnificent nature of Indonesia.”

Jos Eilert

“In the last ten years I feel more and more connected with the culture and beauty of Indonesia and with my family and friends there. The least I can do is support innovation projects for nature conservation and local development. The masarang projects in Indonesia are essential examples of sustainable development for the whole world. “