Indonesia Attracts Record Number Of Tourists

Indonesia Sets Goal Of 20 Million Tourists By 2019

Indonesia’s National Statistics Board informed that the total number of  international tourist arrivals to Indonesia nationwide during January to November 2014 reached 8.52 million, a growth rate of 7.29 percent year over 2013. Based on these figures Indonesia is confident that the target of 9.3 million for the entire year of  2014 has been achieved and even surpassed. Similarly the target of 251 million trips by domestic tourists has also been achieved , said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.

Indonesia tourism growing fast

In 2014, the tourism sector contributed US Dollars 10.69 billion in foreign exchange, 10.3 million are employed in the tourism sector, giving a share of  4.01 percent to our Gross National Product (GNP). While Indonesia’s Tourism is ranked at no. 70 in the world according to the World Economic Forum. Based on these achievements, therefore, the 2015  target of 10 million International arrivals and 254 domestic trips are within reach, said Yahya.

November arrivals to Indonesia nationwide actually experienced a decline of 5.32 percent year on year. Highest drop was felt at the airport of Manado, North Sulawesi at – 42.04 percent while lowest slide was experienced in Batam with -0.27 percent. While highest monthly growth was at Jakarta’s seaport of Tanjung Priok expanding 16.69 percent.

Uluwatu temple Bali

Meanwhile from Bali it is reported that direct arrivals to Indonesia’s prime tourist destination experienced a hefty growth of 14.78 percent  reaching 3.41 million direct foreign arrivals, compared to 2.97 million the same period in 2013. These entered mostly by air but also by cruise ships, said Panusunan Siregar, Head of the Provincial National Statistics Board in Denpasar. With a target of 2.9 million tourists for 2014, Bali has already exceeded its annual target.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

The majority of visitors to Bali came from the following nations:

Australia 895,069 (an 18.7 percent increase and 26.18 percent share of total);

China 539,371 (a surge of 49.28 percent);

Malaysia 198,133 tourists (up from 172,487);

Japan 195,541 tourists (up 1.64 percent);

Singapore 155,892;

South Korea 132,218;

French 121,471;

British 116,800;

Taiwan declined to 106,850; and

United States, 100,414 tourists.

surf Sumatra

The ministry will continue to promote Indonesia’s tourism in the maritime, ecology and adventure sectors, in addition to promoting shopping, sports, body treatment, leisure and culinary activities, among others.

tourism Lombok Indonesia

Indonesia Tourism News via http://indonesia.travel/en/news/detail/1526/indonesia-surpasses-9-3-million-tourist-arrivals-2014-target-tourists-to-bali-surged-by-14-78

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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

Ecotourism Can Help Save Indonesia’s Forests

Indonesia’s Endangered Species Worth Saving

Indonesian indigenous communities launched a project this week to encourage foreign tourism in ancestral forests to slow the advance of logging operations and palm oil plantations.

The GreenIndonesia non-governmental organization, working with six indigenous groups, said the plan would ease poverty, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify from traditional forest-based incomes such as weaving.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

“We’re trying to draw tourists to areas of Indonesia where communities are working to preserve their land and show how they are helping to prevent forests from being lost,” GreenIndonesia head Chandra Kirana said.

The project was inspired by similar initiatives in the Amazon region of South America, she said at a tourism exhibition in Oslo.

Komodo island

Raymundus Remang, head of the Sui Utuk community in West Kalimantan, said the villagers, who have preserved 9,000 hectares of forest from illegal logging and palm oil expansion, would welcome more visitors. Tourists could stay in the community’s vast longhouse, where about 250 people live.

“Everyone in the village has the same feeling of having to protect the forest because it comes from our ancestors,” he said.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Indonesia has lost vast tracts of forests in recent years, threatening the livelihoods of forest peoples as well as endangered creatures such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar endorsed the ecotourism project and said the government of President Joko Widodo was working on a decree recognizing the rights of indigenous groups.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

GreenIndonesia’s Kirana said she hoped the initiative would draw hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tourists to Indonesia.

Bunaken scuba diving Indonesia

Indonesia Travel News via http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/green-tourism-seen-answer-protect-indonesias-forests/

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

Scuba Diving In Indonesia

Indonesia Is Diving Paradise

Indonesia is an epicenter of underwater biodiversity, hosting a greater variety of marine life than anywhere else on earth.

The South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean converge here, on the world’s largest archipelago of more than 18,000 islands, and the result is spectacular diving. Thriving off Indonesia’s vast coastline are more than 600 coral and 3000 fish species. While place names such as Bali, Komodo, Java and Sumatra bring jungles and tigers and land-based adventure to mind, the underwater world here is simply in a class of its own.

scuba diving Indonesia

The diving is nothing short of outstanding. There’s exhilarating drift diving, extensive reef diving, fantastic night diving, unique muck diving and breathtaking steep walls. Tec divers probe the deep trenches and wreck divers love the many World War II relics. Still one of the few relatively undiscovered dive locations, Indonesia has something for divers of all levels.

Bali, one of the most popular places for learning to dive, is also a hot spot for giant sunfish encounters and has some stunning drop-offs. East of Bali is Komodo, where nutrient rich currents underpin a vibrant ecosystem and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Off Lombok, the Gili Islands are casual, beautiful and tranquil, with turtles, cuttle fish, octopus, lionfish and scorpion fish to delight new divers.

To the north, Sulawesi features fabulous diving at Wakatobi, Lembeh Strait, Bunaken and Manado. Wakatobi’s world-class drop-off is famed for its action and color, with everything from blue ringed octopus and ghost pipe fish to resident sea turtles cruising past soft corals and gorgonians. Lembeh is renowned for muck diving. With a sharp eye, you’ll find banded snake eels, pygmy seahorses, octopus, scorpion fish and literally hundreds of extraordinarily well-camouflaged critters. Almost anything could be hiding in the black sand.

Best known for its tigers and orangutans, Sumatra’s diving is also stellar. The best sites are found off the northwestern coast in the shelter of islands such Pulau Weh. The deep waters here are home to abundant marine life,ranging from giant pelagics to marvelous macro critters.

The USAT Liberty Wreck, a 119-meters/390-foot US Army transport ship, was torpedoed in the Lombok Strait during the Second World War and lies just 30 meters/100 feet from shore in Tulamben Bay off Bali’s northeast coast. The deepest point is about 30 meters/100 feet. The structure attracts great barracuda, napoleon fish and scribbled file fish among myriad other marine denizens.

Indonesia scuba diving

A National Marine Park, Menjangan Island revels in legions of tropical fish, lush seascapes and pristine coral environments. It also has sea turtles, sharks, rays, eels and great schools of jacks.

Nusa Penida and its tiny sibling, Lembongan Island, are current-washed pelagic attraction devices. Over the healthy hard coral substrate, look for sunfish, mantas, sharks, eagle rays, turtles and big shoals of trevally and sweet lips. The currents can be strong as well as surprisingly brisk.

Just off of Lombok, the three Gili Islands  Trawangan, Meno and Air – are small, casual islands boasting white, sandy beaches and excellent diving. Currents can be quite strong and drift diving is the norm along the walls, ridges, canyons and slopes. You’ll encounter cuttlefish, octopus, lion fish and scorpion fish. If your trip coincides with a full moon, you’ll also get to see the school of huge bump head parrot fish that visit the area. Others critters include a variety of rays, sea snakes, reef sharks, moray eels, the occasional whale shark, masses of turtles (both green and hawks bill) and an immeasurable variety of hard and soft corals. The environment is well cared for as the Gili Eco Trust collects contributions from visiting divers and snorkelers to fund special projects such as beach cleanups, recycling initiatives and reef conservation activities.

Komodo Island is directly south of Sulawesi. The national park is legendary for its “dragons” – the world’s largest living lizard – but it’s the ocean that draws divers. With strong currents, Komodo is best for intermediate to advanced divers. But, those strong currents also bring nutrient-rich waters and sustain a remarkable variety of marine life. Dive Komodo and you’ll likely see a multitude of fish and some larger pelagics and marine mammals such as mantas, dolphins and sharks.

Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo, Banta and Rinca Islands and Komodo Marine Park. There are dozens of dives sites within day boat reach and hundreds in reach of dive safaris 8-10 hours away. The best known of these, Manta Alley, End of the World and German Flag, lie to the South of Komodo.

Indonesia sailing

South of Rinca Island the water is cooler and more exposed to the Indian Ocean. Dive sites here include Cannibal Rock (a lush seamount covered with extraordinary invertebrate life, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, dozens of nudibranchs and abundant Coleman shrimp) and Batu Tiga (frequented by big pelagics such as mantas, sharks, masses of trevally and eagle rays).

To the north of Gili Lawa Laut are Crystal Rock and Castle Rock, where reef sharks, turtles, barracuda, yellow fin tuna, wobbegong, grey reef and bull sharks thrive. Lighthouse Reef offers nearly endless drift dives (bring a surface signaling device) on a variety of dive sites with sharks, turtles, dolphins, mantas, trevally, surgeonfish and rays regularly encountered.

North Sulawesi offers a plethora of dive sites and is suitable for divers of all experience levels. Near Manado, one of the top dive destinations, Bunaken Marine Park, comprises 89,065 hectares / 220,000 acres and boasts clear water, steep walls and world-class coral gardens. You are likely to encounter large schools of fish, spinner dolphins and pilot whales. You can also spot many of the other 2000 species in the area – including seahorses, scorpion fish, octopus, sea fans, sponges, whip corals, hard corals and nudibranchs. Near Molas Beach, just outside Manado on the mainland coast, you’ll find the wreck of the Molas. This Dutch freighter sank during the World War II and its hull has become home for many fish species.

Lembeh is renowned for macro diving over a moonscape of black sand. The dive sites at Lembeh Strait have wonderful names: Nudi Falls, Hairball, Police Pier and Angel’s Window. Hairy frogfish, stargazers, flamboyant cuttlefish, Ambon scorpion fish, mimic octopus,decorator crabs, seahorses, snake eels and leaf scorpion fish top the list of what divers flock here to view.

Batee Meureuron is a rocky outcrop washed by strong currents. It’s a great place to see clown fish in their host anemones, stingrays, turtles, moray eels and big schools of black snappers hanging out in the shallow water between the rocks. Seulako’s Drift lets you fly while diving. You’ll soar over rocks, hard corals and gorgonians in the deeps and fields of soft leather corals in the shallows. It’s a high voltage dive. For a unique experience, the Hotsprings are a must see. In a small area, hot water bubbles up from the sandy bottom. The cracks and vents change shape and size every dive. It’s definitely worth diving.

Wakatobi

Those who make the journey to Wakatobi are well rewarded. Above water, the islands are stunning. Below, the diverse and memorable house reef is home to creatures ranging from the small and strange to giant mantas and resident turtles. In addition, the readily accessible coral garden at Teluk Maya harbors Pegasus sea moths, pipe fish, and an endemic pygmy seahorse species. Many dive sites feature thick forests of vibrant soft corals, which hide lots of animals. Seamounts dominate the extraordinarily photogenic dive at Blade where sea fans, sponges and corals abound and seem to have positioned themselves in the most picturesque places on the reef.

Indonesia travel information

Raja Empat 

The waters of Raja Empat (not “Ampat.” Spelled correctly, it means “four kings”) boast more than 1200 marine life species. This is generally live-aboard country with some stunning dive sites. The reefs at Kofiau are crammed with colorful soft and hard corals that hide myriad creatures while blue and gold fusiliers flow like living rivers of color overhead. These coral bommies and gardens harbor some of the highest marine biodiversity in the region. At Northwest Misool, a blue water mangrove maze of trees meets the color of the reef. If you’re a photographer who likes over/under images, you’ll want to take up permanent residence. The Passage is a narrow river of sea between Waigeo and Gam Islands, the coral here grows pretty much to the surface and you’ll find piles of nudibranchs, sharks, cuttlefish and octopus among the soft corals.

Indonesia scuba diving

Indonesia Dive Summary

Depths: From snorkeling to beyond 40 meters/140 feet.

Visibility: Six meters/20 feet to more than 50 meters/160 feet, depending on area and timeof year.

Currents: Mild, but currents vary throughout. In some areas,currents can be very strong.

Water Temperature: Temperatures range from 20-28° C/71-85° F throughout the year, depending upon site and island.

Dive Season: All year but the best time to visit is from May to September. The monsoon season runs from December to June. Sunfish sighting season runs from July to October.

Weather: Indonesia is tropical with a consistently warm, humid climate. Temperatures range from 23-30° C/73-86° F in coastal areas throughout the year. At sea or in the mountains, the climate tends to be cooler. The dry season runs from June to October while December and January can be very wet.

Access: There are direct flights from most countries into Bali and Jakarta. You can access the rest of the region from either of those hubs. Shore diving and boat diving – including live-aboard trips – are common.

Skill Level: From non diver to advanced. Certain areas in Indonesia are perfect for learning to dive while opportunities for advanced divers, especially in current-rich environments, also abound.

Scuba Gear: Tropical dive equipment is common. PADI Dive Centers and Resorts frequently offer full hire facilities, usually including dive computers, but it’s always best to bring as much of your own equipment as possible.

Length of stay: Two weeks allows for some travel between the islands.

Featured Creatures: More than 3500 marine species live in Indonesian waters. From pygmy seahorses and schooling hammerhead sharks to manta rays and sunfish (mola mola), the marine animals are spectacular. Octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish, turtles, sharks, jackfish, dolphins, emperor angelfish, groupers, goatfish, sweetlips, frogfish, pipefish, lionfish, scorpion fish and leaf fish abound. Invertebrates also flourish here. Divers can check out sea fans, sponges, soft corals, feather stars hard corals, hydroids, whip corals and colorful nudibranchs.

Indonesia News Source http://www.padi.com/scuba/scuba-diving-trips/scuba-diving-resort-vacations/diving-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

Indonesia’s Top Religious Leader Demands Wildlife Protection

Wildlife Conservation Not A Priority In Indonesia

Indonesia’s top Islamic clerical body has issued a religious fatwa against the illegal hunting and trade of endangered species in the country, which the WWF hailed on Wednesday as the world’s first. The fatwa by the Indonesian Ulema Council declares such activities “unethical, immoral and sinful”, council official Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh told AFP.

“All activities resulting in wildlife extinction without justifiable religious grounds or legal provisions are haram (forbidden). These include illegal hunting and trading of endangered animals,” said Sholeh, secretary of the council’s commission on fatwas.

Sumatra tiger conservation

“Whoever takes away a life, kills a generation. This is not restricted to humans, but also includes God’s other living creatures, especially if they die in vain.”

The country of 250 million people is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but it remained unclear whether the fatwa would have any practical impact. Indonesia’s vast and unique array of wildlife is under increasing pressure from development, logging and agricultural expansion.

The government does not typically react to fatwas by implementing specific policy changes. However, a Forestry Ministry official who asked to remain anonymous told AFP the ministry and the religious council would make a joint announcement regarding the fatwa on March 12, without elaborating on its content.

Indonesia orangutan conservation

The WWF called the fatwa the first of its kind in the world, and said the use of religion for wildlife protection “is a positive step forward.”

”It provides a spiritual aspect and raises moral awareness which will help us in our work to protect and save the remaining wildlife in the country such as the critically endangered tigers and rhinos,” WWF Indonesia communications director Nyoman Iswara Yoga said.

The fatwa was the result of months of dialogue between government officials, conservationists and other stakeholders, said Sholeh, the fatwa commission official.

Acknowledging it was not legally binding, Sholeh said in English: “It’s a divine binding.”He said the fatwa was effective from January 22. It was only made public late Tuesday.

Indonesia forest conservation

The fatwa urges the government to effectively monitor ecological protection, review permits issued to companies accused of harming the environment, and bring illegal loggers and wildlife traffickers to justice.

The clearing, often illegally, of Indonesia’s once-rich forests for timber extraction or to make way for oil palm or other plantations poses a severe threat to critically endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, orangutan, and Sumatran elephant. Poachers also target wild elephants for their ivory tusks, for use in traditional Chinese medicines

Orangutan conservation Borneo

 

Under Indonesian law, trafficking in protected animals can result in a maximum of five years in jail and 100 million rupiah ($8,700) fine.

Source: http://muslimvillage.com/2014/03/06/50898/ulama-of-indonesia-issue-fatwa-to-protect-wildlife/

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 Creates World’s Largest Manta Ray Sanctuary

Ocean Conservation Important To Indonesia

Good news for Indonesia’s scuba diving enthusiasts. The Manta Trust, WildAid, Blue Sphere Media, the Indonesian Manta Project and Save Our Seas Foundation are today celebrating the signing of a new regulation creating the world’s largest manta sanctuary, encompassing a massive 6 million square kilometers of ocean, enforcing full protection for Oceanic and Reef Manta Rays (Manta birostris and Manta alfredi) in Indonesia. The Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Pak Agus Dermawan, signed the agreement in Jakarta; the event was attended by the Ministry of Tourism, national and international NGOs as well global media.

Indonesia Manta Ray conservation

“Manta rays thrive in Indonesian waters and it is one of the only places in the world where divers and snorkelers can encounter both species at the same time and place,” said Sarah Lewis, Indonesian Manta Project Leader. Realizing the value of a living manta ray as a sustainable source of income through tourism, Indonesia’s forward thinking move to legally protect its manta rays will not only ensure the survival of this vulnerable species but will provide economic benefits for many local communities for generations to come. Coming from one of the world’s largest manta fishing nations this news marks a milestone for manta conservation and awareness not just nationally but on a global scale.”

Indonesia travel information

Manta rays are regarded as one of the most charismatic marine species in the world. In recent years manta ecotourism has grown in popularity across their tropical, sub-tropical and temperate range. A peer-reviewed study led by WildAid, The Manta Trust and Shark Savers estimated that manta ecotourism generates USD$140 million in annual revenues globally; and USD$15 million per year in Indonesia alone, making the species vital for many Indonesian communities who rely on ecotourism for their livelihood. However, manta rays are highly threatened by targeted fisheries which annually generate USD$400,000 in comparison. Although there is clear evidence that stocks are in decline, these fisheries continue to increase their fishing efforts, posing a huge threat to the survival of populations.

Manta rays are targeted for their gill plates, which are sold as a medicinal tonic on the Asian market. However there is no historical foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine and no scientifically proven health benefits.

Research carried out by WildAid and Manta Trust’s Manta Ray of Hope campaign revealed the growing threat to manta and mobula species due to this growing market and these organizations remain heavily involved in the continued conservation of the species. Both organizations provided critical data and media in support of the 2013 CITES Appendix II listing of both Manta species, including The Manta Trust’s mobulid species identification guide.

Indonesia Travel Guide

The Manta Trust and the Indonesia Manta Ray Project continue to research and monitor the Indonesian population, aiming to increase our knowledge base and understanding. The project aims to identify and map manta ray distributions throughout Indonesia, whilst conducting research into the ecology and biology of these populations. A large aspect of the project is to examine the scale and impact of manta fisheries, working closely with the local community to increase awareness and support of alternative, sustainable incomes. Recognizing that manta rays are a vital source of revenue for many communities, the Indonesian Manta project also surveys their current and potential contribution to eco-tourism.

“Manta rays are iconic species, they symbolize what is at stake if we choose not to protect our oceans and their inhabitants for our future generations,” saidGuy Stevens, Chief Executive of the Manta Trust. “The Indonesian Government’s decision to legally protect manta rays is a great step along the road to effective conservation of these increasingly vulnerable species. I applaud the government for this positive action and I strongly urge other nations to follow in their footsteps”

“Indonesia’s decision to protect manta rays will not only help the species, it will safeguard nascent manta ray ecotourism to generate many hundred times more revenue and jobs than the destructive gill trade,” said WildAid’s Executive Director Peter Knights. “We hope that other nations will follow their lead.”

Source: http://saveourseas.com/blog/indonesia_announces_the_worlds_largest_manta_sanctuary_encompassing_a_massi

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 On Record Pace

Tourism A Growth Industry In Indonesia

The total number of international tourist arrivals to Indonesia in 2014 is at this very moment recorded at 9.3 million, while domestic tourism totals 251 million trips, said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya at the end of the year press conference.

The Minister is positive that when all data are in, the final number as  targeted, namely of 9.5 million tourists by the end of the year, will be achieved, forming a solid cornerstone to reach next year’s target of 10 million international tourists and 254 million domestic tourist trips in 2015.

Mt. Bromo Java Indonesia

The number of international tourist arrivals to Indonesia by the end of 2014 will have increased 5.65 percent compared to 2013. While for the period between  January-October, the growth of international tourists reached was 8.71 percent, from 7,134,052 in 2013 to 7,755,616 in 2014. Growth also occurred in domestic tourists from 250 million trips in 2013 to 251 million trips in 2014.

Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya further explained that, therefore, achievements made by the tourism sector to the national  economy include a  4.01 percent contribution to national gross domestic product with  US 0.69 billion in foreign exchange revenue, 10.3 million in employment, while, tourism’s current competitiveness in the world ranked at no 70 according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Indonesia orangutan conservation

“With such achievements, tourism should rightfully be a primary industry. Our return level is higher compared those of manufacturing, while in employment the ratio is 6:4. Generally, it can be said that tourism products are ready and available; we just need to add to facilities. Whereas for manufacturing, they still need to build factories first. Tourism also needs to be given higher priority since it is more renewable compared to mining, for example. Furthermore, there are no other industries that can absorb 10 million employment except for tourism” stated Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya at the Year End Press Conference in Jakarta.

These achievements made by tourism in 2014 have become the foundation to set the target for 2019 which should double in value. In the macroeconomic forecast, tourism target for 2019 should be an 8 percent contribution to GNP, US$20 billion in foreign currency revenue, 13 million employment, through 20 million international tourist arrivals, 275 domestic tourist trips, thus  ranking at number 30 in tourism competitiveness worldwide.

golf Indonesia

Meanwhile, achievements made by the creative economy sector in the macro economy for 2014 include: 7 percent contribution to gross domestic product, 12 million employment, and 5.8 percent contribution to the national export. In the micro economy, the achievements made in the creative Economy include: global competitiveness at rank 87 from 143 worldwide and employment productivity at IDR56 million per year. The targets set for the creative economy in 2019 are: 12 percent contribution to gross domestic product, 13 million employment, 10 percent contribution to national export, ranking at no 40 in global competitiveness, IDR100 million per year workforce productivity, and workers knowledge score of 47 (from 0-100).

The highest contribution in the creative economy sector are Culinary presentations, followed by Fashion, and Crafts” explained Arief Yahya.

The quality and quantity of employment in tourism and the creative economy also experienced an increase. In 2013, it was recorded that an additional  1,437 tourism graduates were absorbed into the industry, while in 2014 the number increased to 1,685. While, the number of creative stakeholders in creation and production also increased from 9,219 in 2013 to 4,478 in 2014.

Sumatra tiger conservation

The excellent business portfolio of tourism is one main consideration of the the new government to transform the Ministry of Tourism and creative economy into the Ministry of Tourism. For the Creative Economy sector, a special Creative Economy Board will be established to be announced in the near future.

The Minister of Tourism also announced a number of top tourism events in Indonesia for 2015 which include: the Jakarta Fashion and Food Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Jakarta Marathon, Batam Six Bridges, ASEAN Jazz Festival, Bintan Triathlon, 60 Years Asian-African Conference Festival in Bandung, Tour de Singkarak, Singkawang Festival, Baliem Valley Festival, and Amway China Incentive Event in Bali.

As in previous years, Indonesian waters will also be highlighted with international sailing events. A number of important sailing events for 2015 are: the Singapore Strait Regatta, Neptune Regatta, Sail Indonesia, Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race, Darwin-Saumlaki, Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia and Sail Maluku.

Indonesia Travel Guide

Indonesia Tourism News via http://www.traveldailynews.asia/news/article/57633/2014-achievements-and-tourism-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

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