Indonesia Should Be Your Next Destination

15 Reasons To Visit Indonesia

via Telegraph Travel

Jakarta: Indonesia’s sprawling capital, home to 10 million people, is a “melting pot of cuisines and cultures”, wrote Simon Parker for Telegraph Travel in 2015.

“The old town of Batavia will transport you to Indonesia’s Dutch colonial past while the fashionable Menteng district is a hive of live music venues, exclusive restaurants and hip hotels,” he added. “World-renowned restaurants, bars and nightclubs perch on top of towering skyscrapers, while shoppers can choose from dozens of gargantuan shopping malls.”

Jakarta, Indonesia tourism

Komodo: The world’s largest lizards exist on just five Indonesian islands – Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. They are truly fearsome, weighing up to 150lbs and possessing toxic bites, allowing them to hunt and kill far bigger animals – even humans.

Komodo dragon Indonesia

Sumatra: Named one of Telegraph Travel’s top 20 places to visit back in 2014, lesser-visited Sumatra is a wild and beautiful hotspot for adventure.

“Most visitors head to see the orangutan of Bukit Lawang,” wrote Guyan Mitra at the time, “and the army of vigilante elephants which are commissioned to protect the northern rainforest of Tangkahan (seriously). You can join them for their dawn lake-shore bath, and scrub their nails before the morning patrol. Topped off with a cup of strong Sumatran coffee, there are few better ways to start a day.”

Sumatra tiger conservation

“The seriously intrepid should consider a trip to Kerinci Seblat, the biggest national park on the island, where you may get to see tigers and the Sumatran rhino, if you’re lucky. Creature comforts are few, but the rewards are high. There’s also hiking across the lunar craters of the volcanoes of Berastagi, lakeside lounging in Danau Toba, diving with whale sharks in Pulau Weh, and surfing off the Mentawaii Islands and Pulau Nias.”

Bunaken scuba diving Indonesia

World Class Scuba Diving: Nowhere in the world offers better diving than the Coral Triangle, an area of the Pacific Ocean that includes the waters around Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. One of the best ways to explore it is on a liveaboard boat around the Raja Ampat (Empat) Islands in Indonesia’s West Papua province. Divers will find 75 percent of all the world’s known coral species, and up to 2,000 species of reef fish.

The Temples and Mountains of Java: It might be the most populous island in the world, with around 140 million residents, but Java has plenty of places to escape the crush. There are 12 national parks to explore – including Unesco-listed Ujung Kulon – and volcanoes – including Bromo and Merapi – to hike up.

Mt. Merapi Java Indonesia

Java is also home to the world’s biggest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, with its intricate lattice stupas set among paddy fields.  It’s often crowded, so consider lesser-known sites such as Pawon, Mendut, Plaosan Lor and Kalasan, which retain an air of contemplation and peace.

Bali: “This is one of very few islands that manage to combine spirituality and hedonism; visitors can witness coming-of-age ceremonies, as well as enjoy sundowners, first-rate dining and chic shopping,” says Telegraph Travel’s Michelle Jana Chan. “At Ubud, the island’s cultural capital, there are frequent musical and dance performances, as well as galleries selling woodcarving, silverware, textiles, paintings and sculpture. There is trekking around terraced rice fields and two volcanoes in the north, Agung and Batur. Bali Barat National Park is a haven for deer, boar and macaques, and the offshore Menjangan Island has dive sites with schools of batfish, giant trevally and jacks.”

merchants on Kuta beach

Lombok: Millions of people visit Bali each year seeking a beach paradise, but they may do better looking about 30 miles east, to the lesser-known island of Lombok, known for its good surf, spectacular beaches and mountainous interior, or the neighbouring Gili Islands, ringed by coral reefs.

Lombok travel tips

“Until recently the Gili Islands were mainly visited by backpackers paying £10 a night for simple beach accommodation,” wrote Michelle Jana Chan back in 2012. “Now the biggest island, Gili Trawangan, is going upmarket with the opening of villa resorts, eco-lodges and spa retreats. But there is still a bohemian feel: instead of cars and motorcycles, local transport is by bicycle or horse-drawn carts called cidomos.”

Read The Entire Article About Indonesia’s Top Destinations

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Orangutan Expert Urges Travel To Indonesia Now

Deforestation Pushing Orangutans Toward Extinction

By Kelly Dinardo, New York Times

It was the orangutan’s eyes that first struck Biruté Mary Galdikas. “They look very human,” said Dr. Galdikas, an anthropologist and the president of Orangutan Foundation International. “They have a very strong gaze that will penetrate you,” she said. “It’s almost hypnotic.”

In the early ’70s, Dr. Galdikas traveled from Los Angeles to the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan on Borneo island to study the red-haired primates. She has spent much of the last 45 years on the island, researching the orangutan and fighting to protect its habitat.

Birutie Galdikas Camp Leakey Indonesia

For decades, Dr. Galdikas was one of the few travelers to the inner region of Borneo. Getting there required an arduous journey and there was little infrastructure once one arrived. Government investment in the region and a smattering of eco-lodges and expedition companies are changing that.

The draw for most visitors is Camp Leakey, the research and education center in Tanjung Puting National Park that Dr. Galdikas established and named for her mentor, Louis Leakey, the paleontologist, archaeologist and anthropologist. Below are edited excerpts from a conversation with Dr. Galdikas about Kalimantan, Camp Leakey and the orangutans.

Q. How has Kalimantan changed?

A. In 1971 when I first went there, it was one of the wildest places left on earth. There were still headhunters on the interior. There were no roads. Rivers were the only highways.

How has tourism changed?

Tourism began in this area only about 20 years ago. I remember a pamphlet that the government issued that told people what a tourist was, what you did with a tourist. One of the wonderful things about Indonesia is the warm, gracious people. They treat tourists as guests.

We have encouraged tourism. We wanted to bring tourists to increase awareness of the orangutans. At Camp Leakey, we see up to 15,000 a year from all over the world. The local people saw them coming in and built up the tourism industry. The good thing is that the money stays in the area. The cooks are local. The guides are local. The boats are local. That’s one of the reasons the local people are so supportive.

Birutie Galdikas Camp Leakey

What do visitors do or see at Camp Leakey?

After you go into the education center, you can walk to the feeding station. Once a day, the orangutans are provided with fruit and they usually come through the trees to the feeding platform. The feeding lasts two hours and some people watch them the whole time.

The time to come is now. I went to see the gorillas in Rwanda and there are only a limited number of visitors allowed. There are very strict rules. It’s wise. The national park at Tanjung Puting has investigated what it would take to set up a system like that. There’s no limit at this point. It’s not necessary yet. You get very intimate encounters with the orangutans at Camp Leakey.

Besides increasing awareness, how has tourism impacted the orangutans?

So far it’s mainly been good. The tourism is controlled. You can only come to the feeding [at Camp Leakey]. You’re not allowed to wander alone in the forest. It enhances the value of the park to the local people and then they will fight for it. Tourism directly benefits the orangutans. It makes the local people want to protect them.

The main issue for orangutans in Southeast Asia is palm oil plantations. The forest needs to be cleared completely for the plantations.

Indonesia forest conservation

Orangutans spend 90 percent of their time in the tree canopy. When you cut down the trees, they have nowhere to go. We’re headed toward a point where most of the orangutans we see will be in captivity or at Tanjung Puting.

Indonesia Travel Update via http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/travel/birute-mary-galdikas-orangutan-expert-visiting-indonesia.html

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Travel Companies Helping Orangutans

Travel Companies Helping Orangutans On Borneo

Khiri Travel Indonesia, Wow Borneo and Asia Transpacific Journeys have joined forces to draw attention to the thousands of orangutans and other species whose habitats are being destroyed by fires in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

orangutan conservation

According Khiri Reach, Khiri Travel’s not-for-profit arm, an estimated 10,000 orangutans, along with cloud leopards and hornbills, have been impacted by forest fires this year. And dozens of animals rescued by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) are in need of shelter, medication and nourishment.

“We want to mobilize the support of partner organizations, not just in Indonesia, but across the region to help the orangutan, preserve forest habitats, and encourage a halt to the burning of forests,” said Pharatah Senapan, chief ambassador of Khiri Reach. “A long-term sustainable solution is needed to ensure protection for the habitat of this unique species.”

Birutie Galdikas Camp Leakey Indonesia

“The foundation welcomes initiatives on orangutan and habitat conservation from partners,” said a spokesman. “We are keen to fulfill the Orangutan National Action Plan to put all orangutans in the rehabilitation centers back in the forest by 2015.”

Orangutan conservation Borneo

Apart from a donation to BOSF, Khiri Reach has also launched an awareness campaign for staff and travel industry partners across Indonesia.

“We can’t stand still and not take part to help with the situation,” said Khiri Reach Indonesia spokesperson, Elske de Vries. “In fact, we believe everyone should join.”

Members of the travel industry and the public can support the BOSF’s rescue work by either donating funds online or adopting an orangutan at donation.orangutan.or.id.

Indonesia News via http://www.traveldailymedia.com/229643/travel-companies-unite-to-help-borneos-orangutans/

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Orangutans, Tigers Under Pressure In Indonesia

Sumatran Tiger The Last Of Indonesia’s Three Subspecies

Most visitors to Indonesia hope to see the Sumatran tiger. However, this beautiful animal rarely shows itself. Unfortunately, human development and destruction has already pushed two other tiger species in Indonesia into extinction. The Javan tiger was declared extinct in 1994 and the Bali tiger was last seen several decades before that. Fewer than 300 Sumatran tigers are left in the wild and the number is dropping steadily.

Sumatra tiger conservation

If habitat destruction and poaching across Asia are not stopped, wild tigers have just a few years to survive. Tiger bones and body parts are sold on the black market for use in traditional Chinese medicines. This demand alone is putting tremendous pressure on these beautiful animals. Meanwhile, the forests where they live are being destroyed for timber, mining, and farming–especially palm oil plantations. Each animal needs up to 20 square miles to survive and forests are a vanishing resource in many regions.

Orangutan Habitat Torched On Borneo, Sumatra

The orangutan is another favorite attraction among wildlife enthusiasts. In Indonesia, its name means man of the forest. The orangutan is the only great ape found in Asia and it is highly endangered because of habitat destruction and illegal poaching. Orangutans live in the wet and hot forests of Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo).

The orangutan is one of the most impressive and famous apes in the world. The orangutan is the largest tree-dwelling animal on the planet and the second-largest great ape behind the gorilla. A full grown male is as large as a man, but several times stronger. The mature male has large, fleshy cheek pads and a heavy throat pouch. It can weigh more than 250 pounds. The full-grown female is about half that weight.

orangutan Camp Leakey

Adult orangutans have an intelligence level similar to that of a five-year-old child. They move through the forest high in the canopy, swinging from tree to tree. Orangutans range over large areas in pursuit of food, including fruit, bark, leaves, flowers, and insects. They live a nomadic lifestyle that depends on food availability.

The males frequently come down to the ground to travel longer distances, while the females rarely leave the trees. They have a solitary lifestyle, unlike other species of monkeys or apes. However, mothers will intentionally bring their young together to play. They make new beds high in the trees every day because they refuse to use the same bed more than once.

Orangutan conservation Borneo

Females are not sexually active until they are about 15 years old. They usually reproduce about once every seven years, because the mothers care for their babies for about five years. Females rarely give birth more than three times in their life, which is the longest birth interval of any mammal. This fact doesn’t bode well for a species under siege.

Orangutans also are the victims of an illegal pet trade. Illegal poachers take the baby orangutans after killing their mothers. They sell the babies as pets in places such as Taipei.

Indonesian law has protected orangutans since 1925, but enforcing the law and confiscating orangutans from people is a complicated process. In the past, when a government official found someone possessing an orangutan, the animal either had to be released immediately or put to sleep. Since the government rarely had the facilities or the training to properly prepare the animals for release into the wild, and since no one wanted to destroy the animals, few orangutans were confiscated. Thanks to the development of orangutan rehabilitation centers, such as Camp Leakey, Wanariset Station, and others, captured orangutans now have a better chance to return to the wild. Unfortunately, reintroduction is very challenging and does not always work.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Habitat destruction is the greatest threat to the survival of the orangutan. It depends on the rainforest to survive. More than half of the world’s tropical rainforests have been destroyed in the last 30 years and some estimate that 80 percent of the orangutan’s habitat has been destroyed in just the last 20 years. Illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, gold mining, and forest fires threaten their survival. Only about five percent of the surviving orangutans live in protected areas, such as nature reserves and national parks, which means this species might be gone from the wild in 10 years.

The current number of wild orangutans is estimated at fewer than 60,000 animals on both Sumatra and Borneo combined. There were twice as many just 10 years ago.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Yogyakarta Artists Speak Out For Orangutans

Palm Oil Plantations Killing Orangutans

The Center for Orangutan Protection (COP), an NGO advocating for an end to cruelty against orangutans, has urged the Indonesian government to take tough measures against the perpetrators of crimes against orangutans in tropical forests in Kalimantan and Sumatra.

orangutan conservation

The COP further says it will hold a string of public campaigns to push the government into realizing its commitment to stopping crimes against orangutans.

“All this time, the perpetrators of crimes against orangutans have been sentenced to only between eight and 10 months,” COP Java and Sumatra area manager Daniek Hendarto told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

He said without tough legal measures, all efforts conducted by NGOs and other civil society groups to conserve orangutans would be in vain. Plantation owners suspected of having masterminded cruel acts against orangutans have never been prosecuted, he claimed.

“Law enforcement is the key to orangutan conservation. In Indonesia, however, there is a common perception that law can be enforced only if there is strong pressure from the public. Therefore, the COP will continue to gather public support to save orangutans,” said Daniek.

Orangutan conservation and ecotourism

Among public campaigns conducted by the COP is an art exhibition entitled “Art for Orangutan” jointly held with the Gigi Nyala Community at the Jogja National Museum in Yogyakarta from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3. The exhibition involves 90 Yogyakarta artists who have created various art works, such as paintings and statues, which are all themed on orangutans.

“Orangutans are on the brink of extinction and the major causes are forest conversion into plantations and mines, excessive hunting and the illegal trade in orangutans,” said Daniek.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) data reveals that the number of Sumatran orangutans amounted to only 6,500 in 2008. Meanwhile according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) data, there were only 55,000 Kalimantan orangutans in 2005.

“The figures are likely to be far lower now due to ongoing conversion of forests, the natural habitat of orangutans,” said Daniek.

He said in 2011, the COP rescued 1,200 baby orangutans but for each baby orangutan rescued, between two and 10 orangutans were killed.

dead orangutan captured orangutansabused orangutan

Orangutan in snare
Orangutan in snare. It chewed it’s hand off trying to escape.
orangutans killed
This female orangutan and its baby are hung for the world to see on a palm oil plantation in West Kalimantan.

COP monitoring activities have revealed that the illegal trade in orangutans has continued to occur. In their natural habitat in Sumatra or Kalimantan, an orangutan sells for Rp 2.5 million (US$196) each but the price can increase to Rp 100 million in Java.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

“Most of their buyers are rich people or those who hold an important position in which they should be aware that raising an orangutan is prohibited by the Conservation and Natural Resources Law,” said Daniek.

Orangutan News via http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/01/govt-urged-prosecute-crimes-against-orangutans.html#sthash.lYXBry17.dpuf

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia’s Top Travel Destinations

Travel To Bali, Borneo, Java, Sumatra

Indonesia is a huge country, in both population and land area, with significant cultural and geological diversity. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of around 240 million people is derived from 300 ethnic groups who speak over 250 different languages. While Bali is usually the destination most familiar to foreign visitors, there is a wealth of other top tourist attractions in Indonesia to discover in this vast and varied country.

Lake Toba Sumatra Indonesia

Lake Toba, Sumatra. Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra is an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Besides visiting “a lake on an island within a lake on an island” tourist also come here to kick back and relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

Tanjung Puting, Kalimantan. The Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses.

Dani tribe Papua

Baliem Valley, Papua. The Baliem Valley in the highlands of Papua (Western New Guinea) offers a glimpse into what was recently a stone-age world. The valley was not known to the outside world until 1938 when an aerial reconnaissance flight southwards from Hollandia (now Jayapura) discovered a large agricultural population. Wamena is the starting point for most visitors who come nowadays to marvel at the mountain views, roaring rivers, tribal villages and at the tough but sweet spirit of the warm Dani people.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

Mount Bromo, Java. Gunung Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java. At 2,329 meters (7,641 feet) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but it is the most well known. The area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Indonesia and Java. The top of the volcano has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white smoke. It is surrounded by the Sea of Sand of fine volcanic sand. The overall effect is unsettlingly unearthly.

Bunaken Sulawesi scuba diving

Bunaken, Sulawesi. Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70 percent of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between the months of April and November.

Tanah toraja

Torajaland, Sulawesi. Torajaland (Tana Toraja) is a highland region of South Sulawesi, home of the Toraja people. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses known as tongkonan and spectacular but gruesome funeral rites. After a person’s death, the body is kept – often for several years – until the actual funeral ceremony which can last for several days. The deceased is then finally buried in a small cave or in a hollow tree.

Gili islands Lombok Beach

Gili Islands, Lombok. Lombok’s most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace. Note that the name “Gili Islands” is rather redundant as gili simply means “small island” in Sasak and there are many other islands around the coast of Lombok with Gili in their names.

Komodo dragon

Komodo National Park, Komodo Island. The Komodo National Park is a national park located within the Lesser Sunda Islands that includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rincah, and 26 smaller ones. The park is named after the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest living reptile that can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carcass of dead animals, they are formidable predators and will also hunt prey including birds, and mammals. Attacks against humans are very rare.

Borobudur temple Java Indonesia

Borobudur, Java. Located 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Yogyakarta on Java, the Borobudur is the one of the most famous Buddhist temple in the world. The Borobudur was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra, out of an estimated 2 million blocks of stone. It was abandoned in the 14th century for reasons that still remain a mystery and for centuries lay hidden in the jungle under layers of volcanic ash. Today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia.

Bali rice terraces

Bali. Bali is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. The varied landscape, rugged coastlines, tropical beaches, lush rice terraces and volcanic hillsides all provide a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique Hindu culture. The combination of friendly people, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality and spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali the unrivaled number one tourist attraction in Indonesia.

Indonesian tourist destinations

Source: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-indonesia/

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Deforestation Killing Ecotourism In Indonesia

Biodiversity A Tourism Asset

A new study says Indonesia’s deforestation rate is the world’s highest, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and threatening animals and livelihoods. A grim new study says Indonesia’s forests are disappearing so rapidly that the country has now replaced Brazil as the world’s No. 1 deforester.

Sumatra tiger conservation

The Nature Climate Change journal reported that Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of natural forest in 2012, compared with 460,000 hectares in Brazil, even though Indonesia’s forest is a quarter of the size of the Amazon rainforest. Potentially making matters worse, the rate of loss in Indonesia is twice the rate reported by the government.

According to Greenpeace, the destruction of forests is being driven by the expansion of the palm oil and pulp and paper industries. The deforestation is increasing greenhouse gas emissions, pushing animals such as Sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction and wrecking the livelihoods of local communities that depend on natural resources such as fishing.

orangutan Camp Leakey

The study warned that developers are increasingly turning to Indonesia’s carbon-rich wetlands. Tropical forest advocate Glenn Hurowitz, a managing director at Climate Advisers, said the latter finding is consistent with what he’s observed during his visits to Indonesia.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

“Tropical rain forests are one of the world’s richest carbon sinks, and peatlands are many times more powerful carbon sinks,” Hurowitz told Scientific American. “It’s the height of insanity, desperation or greed to destroy a peatland rainforest.”

Sumatra tiger conservation

Source: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/07/26/indonesia_land_of_the_disappearing_trees.html

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Borneo Countries Push For Common Visa

Plan Promotes Island Tourism

Foreigners visiting Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia will only have to apply for a single visa if an agreement could be reached between the three countries on the framework. Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said he had discussed the matter with his counterpart from Brunei when the latter was here recently and there shall be a follow-up discussion in Miri.

“Officially, we are discussing with Brunei. We have asked Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz to discuss with his counterpart from Indonesia.

Sulawesi sunset

“Meaning that if the visitors have visa issued by any of the countries, they are able to travel in these three countries – Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia,” he told a press conference after attending a dinner with the business community in the state and airline operators from China and Hong Kong on Sunday.

Abang Johari said within the context of BIMP-Eaga and Malindo, the state government will hold talks with Kalimantan provincial governments once the Indonesian government had given the green light to the framework.

“For immigration purpose, we can initiate it and then work together with Tourism Ministry and Home Ministry on that and perhaps the Foreign Affairs Ministry. There is actually a framework now to work together.”

Indonesia travel information

He noted that so far in the Asean region, only Thailand and Cambodia had reached an agreement for a single visa to visit the two countries.

In a related development, Abang Johari spoke of a new trend in the tourism sector towards adventure and nature, rather than the beach.

“Last time it was the sun and beach but now they (tourists) want something challenging and adventurous. Somebody commented to me why don’t we have flying fox to be done here in Kuching and I said wait until we got all the facilities.”

Based on the feedback he got from a tourism industry player from Hong Kong, he said many young people there prefer to go for adventures.

“For them, there is a catchment of 100 million people along the Pearl River. These are some of the young people who want to experience adventure and we can try to formulate a certain package in order to cater for these people, including for the expatriates working in Hong Kong.”

boat travel across Borneo

Abang Johari said he would visit Hong Kong and China at the end of April to aggressively promote Sarawak to the two states, adding that he believed that the state could reach out to the market there with the support of stakeholders in the two areas.

“I must admit, our promotion effort previously was not that great. We were a little lacking in terms of promotion. This time around, we have to be aggressive.”

In terms of the shopping patterns among Sarawakians, Abang Johari said he noticed nowadays that many of them liked to visit Hong Kong to spend their weekends and go to Guangzhou for shopping.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/03/11/sarawak-hopes-for-common-visa-for-malaysia-brunei-and-indonesia/#ixzz2vlBYTsVx

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Orangutans Fighting For Survival

Palm Oil Plantations Destroying Indonesia’s Biodiversity

Even in the first light of dawn in the Tripa swamp forest of Sumatra it is clear that something is terribly wrong. Where there should be lush foliage stretching away towards the horizon, there are only the skeletons of trees. Smoke drifts across a scene of devastation.

Orangutan conservation Borneo

Tripa is part of the Leuser Ecosystem, one of the world’s most ecologically important rainforests and once home to its densest population of Sumatran orangutans.

As recently as 1990, there were 60,000 hectares of swamp forest in Tripa: now just 10,000 remain, the rest grubbed up to make way for palm oil plantations servicing the needs of some of the world’s biggest brands. Over the same period, the population of 2,000 orangutans has dwindled to just 200.

In the face of international protests, Indonesia banned any fresh felling of forests two years ago, but battles continue in the courts over existing plantation concessions. Here, on the edge of one of the remaining stands of forest, it is clear that the destruction is continuing. Deep trenches have been driven through the peat, draining away the water, killing the trees, which have been burnt and bulldozed. The smell of wood smoke is everywhere. But of the orangutans who once lived here, there is not a trace.

orangutan and tiger habitat Sumatra

This is the tough physical landscape in which environmental campaigners fighting to save the last of the orangutans are taking on the plantation companies, trying to keep track of what is happening on the ground so that they can intervene to rescue apes stranded by the destruction.

But physically entering the plantations is dangerous and often impractical; where the water has not been drained away, the ground is a swamp, inhabited by crocodiles. Where canals have been cut to drain away the water, the dried peat is thick and crumbly and it is easy to sink up to the knees. Walking even short distances away from the roads is physically draining and the network of wide canals has to be bridged with logs. The plantations do not welcome visitors and the Observer had to evade security guards to gain entrance.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

To overcome these problems, campaigners have turned to a technology that has become controversial for its military usage but that in this case could help to save the orangutans and their forest: drones.

Graham Usher, from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, produces a large flight case and starts to unpack his prized possession, a polystyrene Raptor aircraft with a two-metre wingspan and cameras facing forward and down.

The £2,000 drone can fly for more than half an hour over a range of 30-40km, controlled by a computer, recording the extent of the destruction of the forest.

“The main use of it is to get real time data on forest loss and confirm what’s going on with fires,” he says.

Sumatra tiger conservation

They can also use the drone to track animals that have been fitted with radio collars. Graham opens his computer and clicks on a video. Immediately, the screen fills with an aerial view of forest, then a cleared patch of land and then new plantation as the drone passes overhead. “We are getting very powerful images of what is going on in the field,” he says.

The footage is helping them to establish where new burning is taking place and which plantations are potentially breaking the law. Areas of forest where the peat is deeper than three metres should be protected – the peat is a carbon trap – but in practice many plantations do not measure the depth.

“They shouldn’t be developing it but the power of commerce and capital subverts all legislation in this country. There is no law enforcement or rule of law,” says Usher.

The battle to save the orangutans is not helped by the readiness of multinational corporations to use palm oil from unverified sources. Hundreds of products on UK supermarket shelves are made with palm oil or its derivatives sourced from plantations on land that was once home to Sumatran orangutans.

Indonesia forest conservation

Environmental campaigners say that the complex nature of the palm oil supply chain makes it uniquely difficult for companies to ensure that the oil they use has been produced ethically and sustainably.

“One of the big issues is that we simply don’t know where the palm oil used in products on UK supermarket shelves comes from. It may well be that it came from Tripa,” says Usher.

In October, the Rainforest Foundation UK singled out Superdrug and Procter and Gamble (particularly its Head and Shoulders, Pantene and Herbal Essences hair products) for criticism over the use of unsustainable palm oil. A traffic light system produced using the companies’ responses to questions from the Ethical Consumer group also placed Imperial Leather, Original Source and Estée Lauder hair products in the red-light category.

A separate report by Greenpeace, also issued in October into Sumatran palm oil production, accused Procter and Gamble and Mondelez International (formerly Kraft) of using “dirty” palm oil. The group called on the brands to recognize the environmental cost of “irresponsible palm oil production”. According to the Rainforest Foundation’s executive director, Simon Counsell, part of the problem is that even companies that do sign up to ethical schemes, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, cannot be certain that all the oil they receive is ethically produced because of the way oil from different plantations is mixed at processing plants.

Sumatra tiger conservation

“The smaller companies sell to bigger companies and it all gets mixed. Even those companies making some effort cannot be certain that what they are getting is what they have paid for,” he said.

Driving out of Tripa, the whole area appears to have been given over to palm oil plantations; some long-established, 20-25 foot tall trees in regimented rows, others recently planted. Every now and again there is a digger, driving a new road into what little forest remains, the first stage of the process that will end with the forest burned and gone and replaced with young oil palms.

There is a steady flow of lorries loaded with palm fruits, heading for the processing plant not far from the town of Meulaboh. From there, tankers take the oil to the city of Medan for shipping onwards.

It is outside Medan that the orangutan victims of clearances are taken to recover, at the SOCP’s quarantine centre. These are the animals rescued from isolated stands of forest or from captivity. Those that can be will eventually be released back into another part of the island.

Anto, a local orangutan expert, says the spread of the plantations is fragmenting the remaining forest and isolating the orangutans.

“Then people are poaching the orangutans because it is easy to catch them,” he says. “People isolate them in a tree and then they cut the tree or they make the orangutan so afraid that it climbs down and is caught. After that they can kill it and sometimes eat it. Or they can trade it.”

This is what happened to Gokong Puntung and his mother. The one-year-old ape – now recovering with the help of SOCP – was rescued from Sidojadi village in February. He had been captured a month earlier in the Tripa forest.

A group of fishermen spotted Gokong Puntung and his mother trapped in a single tree and unable to reach the rest of the forest without coming down. The men apparently decided to try to grab the baby in the hope of selling it. One climbed the tree, forcing the mother to fall to the ground, where another man set about her and beat her with a length of timber. In the confusion, mother and baby became separated and the fishermen were able to get away. They sold the animal for less than £6 to a plantation worker.

“We got information from people who heard an orangutan crying in one house,” says SOCP vet Yenny Saraswati. “They went in the house and found the baby orangutan in a chicken cage. The owner said he had bought it from people who had taken it from the plantation.”

It was a very unusual case: more often, the mother is killed.

“They are very good mothers – better than humans,” she says. “A lot of human mothers don’t care for their babies, but I have never seen an orangutan leave its baby. They always hug them and don’t let them cry.”

That’s why poachers tend to kill the mothers, says Anto. “They hit it with sticks. One person uses a forked stick to hold its head and the others hit it and beat it to death. But the young orangutans they sell.”

The effect on Tripa’s orangutans has been disastrous. Cut off from the population on the rest of the island, they teeter on the brink of viability; experts say they really need a population of about 250 to survive long term and, because orangutans produce offspring only once every six or seven years, it takes a long time to replenish a depleted population.

Those that remain in the forest face other dangers. Some die when the forest is burned, others starve to death as their food supply is destroyed.

If the orangutans did not already have it tough, there may yet be worse to come: gold has been found in Aceh’s remaining forests and mining is starting.

“If there is no government effort to protect the remaining area, we will never know the orangutans here again,” says Anto.

“If this continues they will be gone within 10 years.”

In response to the criticism over its use of unsustainable palm oil, Superdrug said it “is aware of the complex issues surrounding palm oil and its derivatives, which are currently used in some of its own-brand products, and is committed to working with its suppliers to use sustainable alternatives when they become widely available.”

Estée Lauder Companies, which makes Aveda hair products, said: “We share the concern about the potential environmental effects of palm oil plantations, including deforestation and the destruction of biodiversity and habitats.”

The statement said that its palm oil (made from the pulped fruit) came from sustainable sources. But the company said the majority of its brands used palm kernel oil (from the crushed palm fruit kernels) and that it was working to develop sustainable supplies.

“We are committed to acting responsibly and will continue to work with our suppliers to find the best ways to encourage and support the development of sustainable palm kernel oil sources.”

PZ Cussons, which makes Original Source and Imperial Leather products, along with the Sanctuary SPA range, said it was committed to using raw materials from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources wherever possible.

The company said it had “embarked on a sustainability journey” and was working with other producers to gain a better understanding of the supply chain and “to promote the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products”. Mondelez International (formerly Kraft) said it wanted to eliminate unethical plantations from its supply chain by 2020.

“We fully share concerns about the environmental impacts of palm oil production, including deforestation. As a final buyer, engaging our supply chain is the most meaningful action we can take to ensure palm oil is grown sustainably,” said a spokesman.

“Palm oil should be produced on legally held land, protecting tropical forests and peat land, respecting human rights, including land rights, and without forced or child labour.

“We expect palm oil suppliers to provide us transparency on the proportion of their supplies traceable to plantations meeting these principles by the end of 2013 and to eliminate supplies that do not meet these criteria by 2020.”

Procter & Gamble, which makes Head and Shoulders, Herbal Essences and Pantene products, said it was “strongly opposed to irresponsible deforestation practices and our position on the sustainable sourcing of palm oil is consistent with our corporate sustainability principles and guidelines.

“We are committed to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil and have set a public target that, by 2015, we will only purchase palm oil from sources where sustainable and responsible production has been confirmed.”

Orangutans are facing extinction as their habitats are becoming fragmented and agricultural production expands.

Populations of orangutans have been broken up into groups and this is causing a problem for the survival of the species.

The WWF estimates that a century ago there were more than 230,000 orangutans living in the wild, now they think there are only 41,000 in Borneo and 7,500 in Sumatra. Others put the figures at 54,000 in Borneo and 6,600 in Sumatra.

Some conservationists predict that orangutans could disappear in as little as 20 to 30 years, others think it could happen in a few hundred years.

Orangutans share 96.4% of their genes with humans.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/15/orangutans-fight-for-survival

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Tourism Surging

Tourism Growing Across Indonesia

Indonesian tourism arrivals for the first nine months of 2013 are bolstering optimism that a target of 8.6 million foreign visitors for the entire year will be met.
Indonesian foreign tourist arrivals in September totaled 770,878 – pushing arrivals past the 6 million mark on a cumulative basis for January-September 2013.

DetikTravel.com quotes the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy on Saturday, November 2, 2013, as saying that September arrivals of 770,878 were 12.8% higher than the 683,584 foreign visitors who came to Indonesia in September 2012.

surf Sumatra

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, said: “Looking at the trend of foreign visitors over the past few months, I am optimistic that we will meet our moderate target of tourist arrivals for the entire year of 8.6 million.”

Total foreign visitors to Indonesia for the period January-September 2013 totaled 6.414,149 tourists. Pangestu credited the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) sector for supporting the increase in tourist arrivals to Indonesia, citing the APEC 2013 conference and related meetings in Bali as making a major contributions to the strong performance in arrivals.

Indonesia Travel Guide

“The peak holiday season at the end of the year will also boost arrivals. For the coming three month we will focus on increasing promotions in a number of countries, and participate in the World Travel Mart in London and road shows in China to maintain the momentum of tourism growth through next year,” explained Pangestu.

Mt. Rinjani volcano Lombok Indonesia

Nationwide the countries showing the largest rate of month-on-month growth in September were Mainland China (+45,56%), Taiwan (+40%) and Hong Kong (+31.56%).

Source: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?ID=9975

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia