7 August 2013

1 Million Trees planted in Sumatra

Soon I will begin a volunteer project as a Forest Restoration Officer with the Orangutan Information Centre. These guys have recently planted their 1 MILLIONTH TREE in Northern Sumatra (Indonesia). I can't tell you how excited I am to join this pioneering restoration team for a year long assignment based in Gunung Leuser National Park.

The Leuser eco-system in Northern Sumatra is considered by many ecologists to be the most bio-diverse ecological community in South-East Asia. It is home to 105 recorded species of mammals, 382 species of birds, and at least 95 species of reptiles and amphibians. It is considered to be the last place in all of SE Asia of sufficient size and quality to maintain viable populations of Asia's rarest and most charismatic species including tigersorangutansrhinoselephants, and clouded leopards.

Recent decades have seen unprecedented industrial-scale deforestation of Sumatran forests (including inside national parks) and it is clear that urgent action is absolutely critical to preserving what remains of this incredibly rich bio-diversity hot-spot.

Organizations such as the Orangutan Information CentreSumatran Orangutan Society and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program are collaborating to ensure the rarest great ape species in South-East Asia does not go extinct, along with their super bio-diverse rainforest eco-systems.

Check out this video below to see the inspirational work of the Orangutan Information Centre.

On the 19th of August it will be 'WORLD ORANGUTAN DAY'. This is a positive campaign and global collaboration of conservation NGO's working to bring much needed attention and awareness to the crises facing these beautiful red apes and their forest habitat. 

If you want to support this work, please make a Donation directly to the Orangutan Information Centre who are working on the ground in Sumatra within communities adjacent to Gunung Leuser National park to save the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan.

To raise further awareness of this event you can also take a photo of yourself and your family holding a card that says "I LOVE Orangutans!" and share it on the official facebook page for World Orangutan Day! 

Below is a poster my partner and I made to contribute towards this positive campaign.

Please feel free to share around your networks.

For Environmental Educators or families who want to introduce their children to positive Orangutan conservation projects check out the 'SAVE ARMSTRONG' campaign by the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS). 

This video clip below illustrates the challenges faced by "Armstrong the Orangutan" (and yes, Orangutans do have very strong arms!) and the work being done to Restore a Forest eco-system for Orangutan habitat which is currently being implemented by the Orangutan Information Centre in Northern Sumatra.


And here is the latest 'Theatrical Trailer' for the documentary film, 
'Rise of the Eco-Warriors', about a conservation and community development project I worked on last year in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The film, produced by Virgo Productions, is set to be released in March 2014 in conjunction with a series of international film festivals and environmental education initiatives in schools.

It is my hope that this film can inspire a new wave of young eco-activists and positive change agents to get involved and support the many projects happening in Indonesian and globally aimed at conservation and community development.

And finally Here is a quote by Paul Hawken that articulates beautifully my own seemingly contradictory feelings of massive inspiration for the movement of people working to create change on our planet, despite harboring a very real sense of distress towards our current planetary predicament with this seemingly unstoppable trajectory of ecological destruction... *takes a deeeeeep breath*

"When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my

 answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what 

is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand 

data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this 

earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you 

haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are 

ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and 

incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, 

justice, and beauty to this world." 

- Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest

Check out this incredible video clip where Paul Hawken explains the movement that is underway right now all around the world, which he says is 'humanities immune response to heal the world'. deep!

That's it for me,

as they say...

'The Best time to Plant a Tree is 20 years ago.... 
...the second best time is NOW'