I am sure that all of you know that I have been lost, travelling in the jungles of Borneo and without internet for most of the past month. This has resulted in 3 main consequences for me and the 50four50.
- This month’s project is starting a day later than it should
- The subject of this month’s donations has been influenced directly by some of my recent experiences
- I have become very sleep deprived after getting all the research and website update completed.
This month the 50four50 will be supporting the work of Moving Mountains Trust, specifically their Borneo Reforestation Project.
This month please be generous in your donations to this great cause.
Here are links directly to the source website they are …….
What is the problem here? …
The devastation caused by deforestation has been well documented and I have seen first-hand some of the problems this has caused in Borneo in particular. The central Borneo rainforest that remains is the third largest rainforest area on the planet and is the most bio-diverse. What is remarkable is only realised when you see how much of what there was has been destroyed in recent years. The number of species of plant and animal made extinct in the process can only be guessed. This set of maps may provide you with some idea of the scope of the problem.
The above images links to a large detailed version directly from the scientific paper in which it was first published and is based on high resolution satellite imaging. (The paper can be read here and documents some of the results of 4 decades of logging on Borneo)
Sadly, over the past half a century, the rainforest which once covered the entire island of Borneo has been ruthlessly, systematically devastated for profit. The devastation from logging for timber has now been compounded by continued clearing for Palm Oil production which has seen a dramatic increase over the past 2 or 3 decades.
Species have been forced to extinction, and many more today face that imminent threat if more isn’t done to protect their habitats. The 50four50 has previously supported a wildlife project to prevent the extinction of the Orang Utan one of the species most affected by the issue of deforestation in Borneo. There are several other species that don’t get the pulicity that the Orang Utans do that are even more endangered because of the loss of their habitat. The Clouded Leopard, Pigmy Elephant and Sun Bear to name a few all have numbers in the wild far less than the Orang Utan.
But here is more than just wildlife at stake here – the once nomadic or semi-nomadic indigenous peoples of the island, such as the Dayak, Penan, and Iban, have been forced to settle, and watch powerless as the forest that provided for them for centuries is destroyed.
I can tell you that it is saddening to see how much of the country is now covered in Palm Oil plantation. I have now driven and flown over much of the island and it appears to the casual observer that there is more Palm Oil than rainforest. It is heartbreaking to know that most of the island was still primary forest only a few short decades ago (untouched – as opposed to secondary forest which is forest that has regrown after logging).
More about the Moving Mountains - Borneo Reforestation Project and how it works …
In the Sarawak region of Borneo, Moving Mountains works in partnership with five indigenous Penan communities to protect and enrich the rainforest and to assist the Penan communities with a tree planting programme. The indigenous nomadic Penan have lived in harmony with the Sarawak rainforest for centuries. Over the previous decades they have seen the rainforest come under increasingly severe threat and in many areas decimated by logging and palm oil plantations. The Penan communities are involved in non-violent resistance against this deforestation, trying to protect the forest, their human rights and their traditional lands and way of life.
Moving Mountains provide funds for seeds to be collected by the local villagers and put initially into tree nurseries before being replanted into the forest once they have reached maturity as saplings after a period of several months. Every year they fund around £8000 to collect around 15,000 seeds and put them in nurseries, and then to transplant saplings into logged areas to aid and speed up natural reforestation of previously deforested areas.
Moving Mountains is providing funding for expert support and education on the forest project and the long term project aims are for fifteen years. They intend to increase the funding of the tree planting and seed collecting in order to make a more significant impact on the cleared areas of forest.
In addition Moving Mountains are helping to develop low impact tourism to the region which will help challenge people’s perceptions and stereotypes of indigenous people and the diminishing environment in which they live. Additionally educating travelers about the problems associated with rainforest loss and what can be done to help.
What can we do this month?
Please don’t forget to drop back here to let us know anonymously how much you donated this month.