PPS Tasikoki is a unit of the Masarang Foundation, led by Dr. Willie Smits. The Masarang Foundation has developed many initiatives to educate the local people and provide sustainable alternatives as well as environmental solutions locally that can have a global impact. Dr. Willie Smits built Tasikoki at the beginning of the last decade, along with several other rescue centres across Indonesia, to provide part of the solution to help stop the illegal wildlife trade.
The Tasikoki centre has been established in a strategic location to tackle the cross-border trade from Indonesia towards the Philippines and onwards to China, Taiwan and Japan. Sulawesi, being the closest Indonesian island to the Philippines, has been exploited as a consolidation point for illegal shipments of wildlife and wildlife products from Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the islands in the Eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago, especially Papua. Orang-utans, sun bears, gibbons, tarsiers, lorises and pangolins were some of the most endangered mammals smuggled out of the country; cockatoos, hornbills, birds of paradise as well as turtles and other reptiles were shipped out in even bigger quantities.
In addition the thriving bush meat trade in North Sulawesi: this brings in bush meat of protected species such as the Sulawesi macaques, the anoa dwarf buffalo and the very rare babirusa, from all over the island of Sulawesi.
Sulawesi is one of the islands with a large degree of endemicity, making it even more important to have a centre here that could contribute in fighting the illegal wildlife trade.