When the “Scary” Forests are Our Saviours

The Surui people from the Brazilian rainforest are fighting to stop the destruction of their homeland. But instead of bows and arrows, they are using the Internet, GPS and Google Earth. Next they plan to start carbon emissions trading.

It is from here that he wages his battle against the deforestation of his homeland. His weapons of choice are the Internet, Google Earth, and GPS. He talks about satellite images, about the million trees he intends to plant, and the 16.4 million tons of carbon dioxide he wants to sell on the global emissions market.

Almir Surui believes his people need modernity to help them maintain their traditional way of life, that this is the only way they can save their forest, their culture, and their tribe. But because it is an experiment, the outcome is uncertain — for both the Surui and the rest of the world.

Part 4: Forest Could Vanish by 2100

Indonesia is endowed with some of the most extensive and biologically diverse tropical forests in the world. Tens of millions of Indonesians depend directly on these forests for their livelihoods, whether gathering forest products for their daily needs or working in the wood-processing sectors of the economy. The forests are home to an abundance of flora and fauna unmatched in any country of comparable size. Even today, almost every ecological expedition that sets out to explore Indonesia’s tropical forests returns with discoveries of new species. More


Along the road to the downtown…

Borneo Forest

The long road from an airport leading to the downtown of a city in Western part of Borneo was quiet. Our plane touched down Pontianak (the city which is located exactly at the equator line, thus it’s indeed boiling weather in midday) late in the afternoon. I felt the hot air blowing soon I left then-simple-airport, and followed my dad hail a taxi. I heard people spoke Indonesian in a Malay accent- the accent which soon I adopted for a year or two.

My dad was sitting next to the taxi driver while I was sitting at the back seat of the taxi while enjoying the left and right view outside of the window. I was already excited about how the city looked like. The road leading to the downtown was long, and quiet. My vision of busy city soon vanished when I noticed high trees thickened by green leaves on the left and right side out of the window. I got goosebumps because they looked scary in my eyes; the eyes of a young girl who were used to living in a neighborhood with fewer forests. I was still young, and I didn’t pay attention too much on illegal logging. However, I remember noticing some logs scattered every few meters along the road. My goosebumps did not go away, you know what kid was imagining when seeing dark places or thick forests, hehe. Well anyhow, I was amazed with the view I was seeing that time.

At home… in the neighborhood called Danau(lake) Sentarum.

Danau Sentarum

The thing I regretted a bit is the lack of memorable objects that can take my memory back to the time when I was in Borneo, living there for a year more precisely. The home I lived with my parents and siblings was a simple two-storey house. When I went upstairs, there was a small balcony, but it wasn’t that nice I’d say. The balcony was hot as it did not have a wide shady roof that could protect me from the rain if ever I had been there during the rain, besides, there was not so much space to stretch out my legs, I could only stand up. I didn’t like the balcony overlooking the thick forests in front of me.They still looked scary to me. There were only few simple houses in few meters distance away from each other, but they looked like forming a kind of organized settlement (you know with the leader of the community). My neighborhood was indeed far from what people now call as “Modern” life. It was a back-to-nature neighborhood. When I cycled I often found trees here and there. Sometimes I cycled my bike so fast that I felt extremely exhausted huffing, and puffing catching my breath which seemed to be lost in the forest I passed by, and which I was afraid of.

A year passed by…

Having relocated quite often was a part of my life, so that’s why I have mixed tastes of everything. I belong to many cultures. Yes, my dad worked in a forestry department, thus we all often relocated from one city to another, from one island to another- to find some greenery to analyze.

I was sad for leaving the city that gave me memory of thick forests I somehow was involved in. When I passed by the long, and still road to the airport, I still found the same images as the first time I came there; thick forests left and right, and some logs scattered every few meters away from each other. The forests began to fade away soon I entered the airport area. I turned my head back and looked at the window to say goodbye to the forests. Tears trickled down my cheeks

Now, …

Illegal Logging- Killing orangutan and increasing Global warming, dang!

I am wondering how the forests look like along the road I passed by some years ago.

I am wondering whether they are still as thick as in 1992/1993.

I am wondering whether I will be welcomed by the presentations of malls, and settlements if I pass by the road for the second time. I can be a bit optimistic. Some days ago I asked a student of mine who visited Pontianak, and I asked him whether there were many malls there. He said “No, and it’s a boring city.” Perhaps the forests are still there

I am wondering whether my Borneo’s forests are still as evergreen as ever.


I should go back to answer all those of my inner monologues.

I should curse those who do illegal logging, dang!

And …

I have a plan to have a garden that I will plant with some nice trees, and plants

I have a plan to present a little forest in my home someday.

I just hope my dreams come true.


To my Kalimantan ( Borneo) and orangutan

Where will I live? Please help me!

free counters

Updated from The Jakarta Post
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Indonesian Ecolabelling Institute (LEI) have launched an 18-month collaboration to explore potential areas of cooperation regarding responsible forest management and forest certification in Indonesia.

The agreement, signed in Bonn, Germany, recently by representatives of the two organizations, marks an important measure in the global efforts to facilitate responsible forest management in the tropics, and builds upon previous collaborative initiatives to advance forest certification in Indonesia, LEI said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

As biodiversity hotspots of the world, tropical forests are vital to the existence of millions of indigenous people, and possess a unique set of social and environmental attributes, the statement said.

The rainforests of Indonesia rank among the most extensive and biologically significant in the world. However, these forests are under tremendous pressure. Deforestation from illegal logging and forest conversion continues to threaten vital habitat and critically endangered species such as the Sumatran orangutans.

13 responses to “When the “Scary” Forests are Our Saviours

  1. Even though I’ve never lived in Borneo, I can relate – I’ve pretty much moved around my entire life as well. This reminded me a bit of the time my family and I lived in Burundi, a small African country. We’d always take trips to the surrounding rain forests. It’s sad how nature is being destroyed without giving it much thought.

    • Oh thanks for mentioning Burundi, I googled a bit about it. I guess people are more concerned about continuing their own life. “When your life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a selfish lounge of survival.” Life of Pi-Yann Martel
      I think the quote is intended to those irresponsible people.
      But, those animals are powerless. Look at their eyes

  2. Keep fighting, through the most powerful way, words. You have a gift with words. Maybe one day I’ll be able to visit your garden and see the orangutans as well.

    • Thanks Cate!
      I don’t know whether those people read this. I doubt it though.
      I cringe whenever I heard that the forests in Borneo are destroyed due to illegal logging.
      Cate you made me smile! when my garden is up, I’ll send the invitation, but I am afraid I can’t adopt orangutans. So you might have to fly to Borneo to meet them.
      All the best to you, Cate

    • Thanks for dropping by!I just sent my love spells I hope they do work change those crazy people.

  3. Now I realize where you got the love of nature from, it’s from this year in Borneo? It sounds like an awesome and impressing experience to live there for a year.
    It is indeed a shame so much woodland and tropical forests disappear in an alarming high rate. I do think people are more aware of it. In Holland if you buy wood or if you buy wooden items, like furniture for the garden, you can choose to buy wood that has a certificate that it didn’t come from damaging a tropical forest. Twenty years ago we didn’t have such a certificate and most wood would come from such forests.

    • It was a nice experience living a year there. It was also nice to know the price of seafood wasn’t as expensive as here, plus the squids were indeed bigger than here with cheaper price.
      Oh people can choose? so why do they give these options? any reasons? and how many people are actually choosing the certified one?It’s interesting fact, I’d like to know more.
      Thanks Gerda

  4. I’m researching people willing to be interviewed for an article regarding the occult and love spells.
    Please contact me if you have had any experience with spell casters, good or bad.
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  5. Pingback: 2010 in Review- Lingua Franca Goes More Optimistically in 2011 | Lingua Franca·

  6. Pingback: A Journey into a Wildlife World (Bali Safari Park, Indonesia) | The Pearl of Java·

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