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/

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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.

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