Reclaim Nation (RN Home) is proud to be sending Anabella to Borneo as part of a reforestation program.
We think it’s really important to support young people in understanding how to protect our planet in the future
Firstly, I would like to thank Reclaim Nation for sponsoring me on this trip to Borneo.
The forests of Borneo, home to orangutans, clouded leopards and pygmy elephants, are among the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. Borneo’s tropical rainforests and climate provide the ideal conditions for a wide variety of species to thrive. Dipterocarp trees hold the greatest insect diversity in Borneo - as many as 1,000 species can be found in just 1 tree. But in the last century, the world’s third-largest island (shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei) has lost a significant portion of its forests to illegal logging and the expansion of palm oil and pulpwood plantations. Only half of its forest cover remains today, down from 75 per cent in the mid-1980s. As well as having devastating impacts on both forest-dependent people and biodiversity, the destruction of tropical forests for commercial exploitation has, according to the study, released an estimated 1.47 gigatons of carbon each year – equivalent to a quarter of the EU’s annual fossil fuel-based emissions. Trees are being chopped down in vast numbers to provide wood for many commercial purposes, one of the leading reasons being for furniture. The trees in the rainforest are taken and replaced with oil palm plantations.
From this data, we must question what we find to be profoundly important to ourselves and to others, as well as the many generations to come. Is it worth losing wildlife and destroying habitats just for something we could find an alternative to?
During my trip to Borneo, I will be visiting the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu which is known locally as ‘KK.’ Here I will be introduced to the culture and atmosphere of the country and have my first taste of what is to come later in the trip.
On day three I will be travelling 5 hours into the center of the country to dive straight into the Borneo life. I will spend the next four days living alongside the community, learning how sustainable development supports local livelihoods and protects the environment. Some of the community-led initiatives that I will be taking part in include wildlife tracking, lake restoration, and tree planting in the orangutan habitats. I believe my work will make a meaningful contribution to long-term goals. Deforestation is indeed the primary threat to the orangutan, a species of great ape known for its keen intelligence and the fact that it’s the largest animal to live primarily in trees. A 2007 assessment by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) predicts that orangutans will be virtually eliminated in the wild within two decades if current deforestation trends continue. This is why work like mine is so important because without it the world as we know it would be damaged beyond repair.