Reforestation of Borneo

November 2018

 

We spent a week on the boat in Borneo, in heat, sweat, 80% of humidity, with no service and shower all sleeping on the deck right in the middle of the jungle, cruising through Sekonyer river, watching orangutans, gibbons, proboscis monkeys and crocs.
I got to participate in the reforestation project of Borneo mangroves and support the Ministry of Forestry on this mission. Incredible feeling to know that somewhere on the other side of the world there will be a tree that hopefully in a few years will be supplying food for orangutans that desperately need our support right now.

There I met orangutans! In the wild! I got to see families with babies happily roaming around, swinging on the trees, and playing with each other and food. Lucky me, and how unlucky might be our next generation who might not be able to witness those majestic creatures due to deforestation mainly because of palm oil plantations.


Some of the shocking info that I learned is that in the last decade population of orangutangs decreased by more than 70% and they are listed right now as critically endangered.


Indonesia’s president has signed a moratorium on new palm oil development and ordered a review of existing plantations which might help with the situation or might just displace forest and species destruction to other areas. The government already has done its step so now it is our turn. Palm oil is everywhere from cosmetics to snacks and it is not easy to eliminate it from our life completely, but acknowledging the problem is already half of the success.

My role in this campaign was to showcase the beauty of Borneo and Indonesia to increase responsible tourism in the area as well as highlight important changes that the government has implemented in the area to maintain biodiversity.