(PRWEB UK) 4 June 2014
According to the WWF*, logging in Borneo during the 1980s and 1990s was the most intensive the world has ever seen, devastating over half of the regions forests and severely threatening the survival of the island’s endangered and endemic wildlife, including orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants, as well as that of indigenous communities whose livelihoods rely on the forest. And although the rate of logging for timber has slowed in recent years due to stricter regulation, the development of palm oil plantations has increased, meaning deforestation rates in Borneo have continued to rise between 2007-2012**. Malaysia and Indonesia now accounts for over 90% of the world’s palm oil, and with global consumption increasing, the Indonesian government is looking to double its output by 2020*.
It’s an ongoing battle. Deforestation not only removes individual trees, but also adversely impacts remaining flora and fauna, leaving intact forest vulnerable to landslides and flooding. With the economic and environmental value of existing forest then adversely affected, the rationalisation for clearing it for agriculture or palm oil plantations becomes much stronger.
But responsibletravel.com believes this is a battle tourism is now meeting head-on. Justin Francis, Managing Director of responsibletravel.com says “While logging may still be winning, tourism is recognising the real economic value in preserving the forests. And the good news is that unlike the mass developments in other South East Asian destinations, in majority tourism in Borneo is being developed sensitively and sustainably, so communities and conservation are starting to see real benefits”.
How is tourism fighting back?
What can you do to bolster tourism’s fight? Responsibletravel.com believes that the steady growth of tourism across Borneo provides hope for the survival of its forests, and the people and animals which rely upon them, but only if this is done in a responsible way. The company encourages visitors to support local community tourism initiatives, such as those with the Penan or Dayak tribes in Sarawak, which directly contribute to community livelihoods and offer a forest-friendly alternative income.
For more advice on how to support responsible tourism’s fight see responsibletravel.com’s 2 minute guide to Borneo - http://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/borneo#travel-guide
Notes to editors:
responsibletravel.com is the world's leading online travel agent for responsible holidays and a pioneer of responsible tourism. Started in 2001 with backing from Dame Anita Roddick of The Body Shop the site's mantra is 'travel like a local'. It sells holidays that are about more than just a brief stay somewhere - instead it is travel that offers a real connection with the people, the landscape, the culture, the food and the environment. It offers over 7,500 responsible holidays from over 3,000 holiday providers which all support communities and conservation. Handpicked local specialists provide authentic holidays for those seeking adventure, culture, or luxury whether travelling with family, joining a small group or looking for tailor-made experiences worldwide, in destinations as diverse as Cuba - http://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/cuba, Thailand - http://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/thailand and Madagascar - http://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/madagascar
In addition responsibletravel.com:
CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisiers The Future 500, Thames and Hudsons 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University.
The company is based in Brighton's North Laine district, England.
01273 829 269 (UK)