Marc is the scientific director of French NGO Hutan and co-director of the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project, a community-based program active in wildlife research, conservation and community development in Sabah since 1996. He is also a scientific adviser for the Sabah Wildlife Department. Before moving to Sabah in 1998, he worked for four years as the Head of the Mammal and Veterinary Departments at the “National Wildlife Research Center” for the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation in Africa.
He created HUTAN in 1998 following a visit to the State of Sabah in 1995. Realizing that orangutans were living in degraded habitats throughout the state, he & his team decided to create a research project in order to investigate whether & how orangutans could adapt to habitat degradation.
Marc realized very quickly that in order to contribute to protecting & saving the orangutans living in Kinabatangan & in Sabah, the team had to switch from a scientific to a more holistic approach by incorporating the needs & aspirations of the local communities. Today, his team is made up with about 50 local research assistants, all hailing from the villages. They are active in orangutan and elephant research and conflict mitigation, law enforcement (Wildlife Wardens), education and awareness (HEAP), community development.
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