The Top Destinations In Indonesia

Visit Everything From The Jungles To Jakarta

Indonesia is a very large and diverse country. With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world. The population of 240 million people is composed of about 300 ethnic groups who speak more than 250 different languages. While Bali and Jakarta are often the destinations of choice for business and pleasure, let’s explore some other top tourist attractions in Indonesia.

Yogyakarta: This is the historic and cultural capital of Java and Indonesia. The sultan of Java lives here in the Kraton. The area features some of the most impressive ancient monuments in Indonesia–Borobudur and Prambanan. Borobudur is the largest Buddhist monument in the world, while Prambanan is one of the largest Hindu monuments in the world. Mt. Merapi is visible from Yogyakarta and most of the region.

Indonesia volcano

Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in all of Indonesia. Yogyakarta also is famous for its arts, especially batik fabrics. Bicycles and horse-drawn carts are still very common forms of transportation in the region, which gives the area a special charm, despite its sprawling size. Yogyakarta also is a university city, which gives it even more character.

Komodo Island: The only way to reach Komodo is by boat, which is an experience that can’t be missed in this island nation. Most visitors arrive on large live-aboard boats, which is a first-class way to eat and sleep in this extremely remote region.

The Komodo dragons live on three islands in the area–Komodo, Rinca and Padar. A few have even crossed the strait to the western tip of Flores. These arid, volcanic islands are inhabited by about 5,700 giant lizards, which grow as large as 12 feet long (three meters). They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution.

Komodo dragon

The local villagers call the Komodo dragon ora, which means land crocodile. The dragons are normally a sandy brown with dark markings against very coarse and dry scales. They have a long neck and a tail that is longer than their body. They have strong, sharp claws that are used in combat with other dragons and during feeding frenzies.

The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral. Although the dragons are the primary attraction to the area, these waters offer some of the best scuba diving in the country and the world. The marine fauna and flora are generally the same as that found throughout the Indo Pacific area, though species richness is very high, notable marine mammals include blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and sperm whale (Physeter catodon) as well as 10 species of dolphin, dugong (Dugong dugon) and five species of sea turtles.

Camp Leakey: Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the island of Borneo in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. The park is a popular ecotourism destination, with many local tour companies offering multi-day boat tours to view wildlife and visit the research centers. Wildlife include gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, pythons, crocodiles and – most famously – orangutans. Unfortunately the park is heavily threatened by illegal logging and forest clearing for agricultural uses., this is your best opportunity to see orangutans in their own habitat. Some are being rehabilitated, while wild orangutans also visit the area, which is not fenced.

orangutan Camp Leakey

With some luck, you might meet, Dr. Birute Galdikas. In the early ’70s, Dr. Galdikas traveled from Los Angeles to the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan on Borneo island to study the red-haired primates. She has spent much of the last 45 years on the island, researching the orangutan and fighting to protect its habitat.

Bunaken: Located at the north of the island of Sulawesi, Bunaken is one of Indonesia’s most famous dive and snorkeling areas. The island is part of the Bunaken Marine Park where you can see more than 70 percent of all fish species that live in the western Pacific ocean.

dive Indonesia

Indonesia is an epicenter of underwater biodiversity, hosting a greater variety of marine life than anywhere else on earth. The South China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean converge here, on the world’s largest archipelago of more than 18,000 islands, and the result is spectacular diving. Thriving off Indonesia’s vast coastline are more than 600 coral and 3000 fish species. The best time for diving in Bunaken is between April and November.

Torajaland: Also known as Tanah Toraja, this is a highland region of Sulawesi, home of the Toraja people. Torajans are famous for their massive peaked-roof houses and spectacular funeral rites. The region also features some interesting megaliths.

Lake Toba: Lake Toba is on the island of Sumatra. It’s an immense volcanic lake about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. Formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption some 70,000 years ago, it is the largest resurgent caldera on Earth. Genetic estimates suggests that there were only a few thousand humans that survived the catastrophe. The island in the middle – Pulau Samosir – is the largest island within an island and contains two lakes. Tourists from around the world come here to relax and swim in the volcanically warmed waters. The volcanic activity of this region produces fertile land and beautiful scenery. It also contains rich deposits of coal and gold.

spa Bali

Ubud: Perched high in the hillsides, Ubud is much cooler and greener than life on the beaches far below. Ubud is considered the cultural heart of Bali and one of the top tourist attractions in Indonesia. There are dance and music performances every day throughout the city as well as numerous art galleries and craft shops to explore. Although Ubud has long been valued as a great place to learn about Balinese culture. Tourism in Ubud boomed exponentially in the last decades. Fortunately, it only takes a short walk or bicycle ride to escape from the crowds and commercialism. An area called the monkey forest sits on the edge of town and its filled with wild monkeys that will beg you for food.

Raja Empat: This is a fascinating diving destination near Papua. It’s a great region to see manta rays and other rare marine life. Over time, tourists mispronounced the name so much that even locals refer to the area as Raja “Ampat.” Don’t be fooled and please don’t perpetuate the error. Raja Empat means “four kings.” As with the best diving in Indonesia, this trip requires a live-aboard boat.

The waters of Raja Empat boast more than 1200 marine life species. The reefs at Kofiau are filled with colorful soft and hard corals that hide myriad creatures while blue and gold fusiliers flow like living rivers of color overhead. These coral bommies and gardens harbor some of the highest marine biodiversity in the region. At Northwest Misool, a blue water mangrove maze of trees meets the color of the reef. If you’re a photographer who likes over/under images, you’ll want to take up permanent residence. The Passage is a narrow river of sea between Waigeo and Gam Islands, the coral here grows pretty much to the surface and you’ll find piles of nudibranchs, sharks, cuttlefish and octopus among the soft corals.

dive Indonesia

Wakatobi: Wakatobi is a world-class scuba diving destination. It’s drop-off is famed for its action and color, with everything from blue ringed octopus and ghost pipe fish to resident sea turtles cruising past soft corals and gorgonians. Lembeh is renowned for muck diving. With a sharp eye, you’ll find banded snake eels, pygmy seahorses, octopus, scorpion fish and literally hundreds of extraordinarily well-camouflaged critters. Almost anything could be hiding in the black sand.

Those who make the journey to Wakatobi are well rewarded. Above water, the islands are stunning. Below, the diverse and memorable house reef is home to creatures ranging from the small and strange to giant mantas and resident turtles. In addition, the readily accessible coral garden at Teluk Maya harbors Pegasus sea moths, pipe fish, and an endemic pygmy seahorse species.

Many dive sites feature thick forests of vibrant soft corals, which hide lots of animals. Seamounts dominate the extraordinarily photogenic dive at Blade where sea fans, sponges and corals abound and seem to have positioned themselves in the most picturesque places on the reef.

Indonesia language and travel guide

Indonesia Travel News via http://indonesiantravelbook.com/indonesias-top-destinations/

Deforestation Contributing To Climate Change, Extinction

Forest Conservation Critical To Life

Forest conservation is critical to life as we know it. Forests sequester carbon and release oxygen. They influence rainfall, filter fresh water and prevent flooding and soil erosion. They produce wild foods, fuelwood and medicines. While the pressures on our vanishing forests vary around the world, the biggest cause of deforestation is expanding agriculture – including commercial livestock and major crops such as palm oil and soy.

Small-scale farmers also play a role as they often slash and burn land every year just to survive. Mining, hydroelectricity and new roads add to the pressure on vanishing forests around the globe.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Deforestation has caused about 20 percent of the rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The rise in greenhouse gases, both human caused and natural, is contributing to unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which contributes to climate change, extreme weather and threats to life as we know it.

Deforestation also cripples our planet’s capacity to capture carbon from the atmosphere, while contributing to the loss of endangered species, including orangutans, tigers, elephants and many others.

Trees and forests can capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, return the oxygen to the atmosphere and store the carbon for centuries. Deforestation is disrupting this vital system, while contributing to global warming and climate change.

Forests can absorb some of the carbon dioxide that we all produce in our daily lives. Unfortunately, our remaining forests are under siege. We can reverse the trend now by demanding forest conservation and reforesting as much land as possible.

If we could stop tropical deforestation today, allow damaged forests to grow back, and protect mature forests, the resulting reduction in emissions and removal of carbon from the atmosphere could equal up to one-third of current global emissions from all sources. Reforestation is a critical part of the solution to many of our most pressing sustainability challenges.

Many developing countries have indicated that they would be willing to reduce emissions further in return for international financial support. Rich countries could do more to fight climate change at lower cost by financing tropical forest conservation in addition to their own domestic emission cuts. The few REDD+ agreements already in place have priced avoided CO2 emissions at only $5 per ton, truly a bargain compared to most other options.

In both Brazil and Indonesia, national efforts to reduce deforestation have been associated with greater transparency, increased law enforcement targeted at forest-related crime and corruption and steps to strengthen the land rights of indigenous peoples. A broad coalition of governments, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and indigenous groups recognized these potential benefits in the September 2014 New York Declaration on Forests.

wildlife conservation Africa

Stakeholders across East Africa are ready to act now. They can help us all fight global climate change, while defending critical ecosystems in Tanzania, Kenya and beyond.

We have approved plans to plant more than 110 million new trees on millions of hectares in Tanzania and Kenya alone. We’re developing more reforestation and agroforestry projects around the world, which will:

  • Absorb carbon dioxide to battle climate change;
  • Defend ecosystems and biodiversity;
  • Preserve watersheds and control flooding;
  • Preserve and create habitat for wildlife;
  • Preserve local lifestyles and cultures, while promoting sustainability; and
  • Create jobs for men and women that can help defend endangered ecosystems.

A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme says that protecting East Africa’s mountain ecosystems would safeguard the region’s $7 billion tourism industry, not to mention the lives of millions of people and iconic endangered species.

“Across the continent, the damage done to these ecosystems is depriving people of the basic building blocks of life,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment agency.

He said Mt. Kilimanjaro was an example of how climate change was severely damaging Africa’s mountains and the people who depend on them. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa, contributes to more than a third of Tanzania’s revenue from tourism but is facing several problems, ranging from shrinking glacier to rampant wild fires. As climate change intensifies, it is essential that governments act swiftly to prevent more harm and more downward momentum. The report urges Tanzania to protect the mountain’s water catchment area by reforestation, investing in early warning systems and making climate adaptation a top priority.

Read The Full Story

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications is a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs.

Palm Oil Casts Dark Shadow Over Corporate Buyers

Sustainability Claims Riddled With Fraud, Abuse

Today Amnesty International has published a damning new report into the practices of major consumer goods multinationals. The human rights NGO unpicks the palm oil supply chain and finds evidence of forced labor, child employment and dangerous working conditions within the palm oil supply chain.

Although the company primarily under investigation is Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil producer, it is the brand names that this firm suppliers that faces the charity’s opprobrium. Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever all come under heavy criticism for allowing conditions to emerge in their supply chains that many would regard as shocking.

palm oil deforestation

Amnesty International interviewed 120 workers within Wilmar’s plantations, as well as digging deeper into their  suppliers in Indonesia.

“Corporate giants like Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever assure consumers that their products use sustainable palm oil, but our findings reveal that the palm oil is anything but,”noted Meghna Abraham, Senior Investigator at Amnesty International.

“Companies are turning a blind eye to exploitation of workers in their supply chain. Despite promising customers that there will be no exploitation in their palm oil supply chains, big brands continue to profit from appalling abuses.”

Palm oil is a highly versatile product that is estimated to be in half of all consumer products, ranging from toothpaste to shampoo. It is mostly produced in Indonesia, which services over half of global demand.

The palm oil sector is rife with corporate social responsibility issues and is linked to deforestation, where its land-intensive farms denude the Indonesian jungle and deny rare species, such as orangutans, of habitation. It also is an area of alleged worker exploitation.

palm oil deforestation

The Amnesty International report describes a punishing work regime with demanding performance targets. Failure to meet objectives can yield financial deductions. Penalties are levied at the manager’s discretion.

Many laborers, the reporters find, feel compelled to work 10-11 hour-long days, accumulating to exceed the legal maximum of 40-hours per week in Indonesia. Despite this grueling schedule many claim they are paid beneath the legal minimum wage.

The report finds that, such are the pressures under which workers are placed, they enlist their spouses and children to toil unpaid to avoid penalties from the employer. The charity found children as young as eight in employment, many of whom dropped out of school to meet their quota.

“I get the premi [bonus] from the loose fruit that’s why my kids help me<” said a plantation worker. “I wouldn’t be able to meet the target otherwise. The foreman sees my children helping me. The foreman says it is good that my child is helping me.”

Indonesia bans child labor.

Amnesty International also finds evidence of using paraquat, highly dangerous herbicide. The chemical is banned in the European Union and Wilmar itself has made commitments to phase out its use. The report finds that suppliers are still routinely making use of the chemical.

forest conservation

The investigators  found one instance of a worker that was splashed in the face by the chemical, leading to severe injuries.  “I can’t see through the eye. I get headaches in part of my head, when I do, my eye feels really swollen. I still get a bit dizzy.”

These allegations are obviously serious and, if true, highly damaging to the brands concerned. Wilmar acknowledge the report’s findings, and urged many within the industry to help combat these issues.

Read The Full Story About Palm Oil Abuses at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/11/30/amnesty-international-slams-colgate-nestle-and-unilever-for-palm-oil-supply-chain-abuses/2/#456cd1564161

UN Report Urges Reforestation Of Mt. Kilimanjaro

Climate Change Threatens Water Supplies Across East Africa

The greater Kilimanjaro region is one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme says that protecting East Africa’s mountain ecosystems would safeguard the region’s $7 billion tourism industry, not to mention the lives of millions of people and iconic endangered species.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

“Across the continent, the damage done to these ecosystems is depriving people of the basic building blocks of life,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment agency.

He said Mt. Kilimanjaro was an example of how climate change was severely damaging Africa’s mountains and the people who depend on them. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa, contributes to more than a third of Tanzania’s revenue from tourism but is facing several problems, ranging from shrinking glacier to rampant wild fires. As climate change intensifies, it is essential that governments act swiftly to prevent more harm and more downward momentum. The report urges Tanzania to protect the mountain’s water catchment area by reforestation, investing in early warning systems and making climate adaptation a top priority.

Mt. Kilimanjaro’s forests are a vital source of water for the surrounding towns and the wider region. Water from the mountain feeds one of Tanzania’s largest rivers, the Pangani.

The report titled Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a Changing Climate warned that the glaciers are likely to vanish completely within a few decades as a result of climate change if urgent action is not taken. Meanwhile, higher temperatures have increased the number of wildfires, which have destroyed 13,000 hectares of the mountain’s forest since 1976.

forest conservation Tanzania and Kenya

The town of Moshi, which is located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is already experiencing severe water shortages as rivers begin to dry up, starving farmland of water in an area already struggling to cope with a dramatic drop in rainfall.

The report was produced by UN Environment, GRID-Arendal, East African Community, the Albertine Rift Conservation Society and Nature-RIDD. It was produced as part of the Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series, which was launched by the UN Environment Programme at the climate talks in Paris in 2015.

global reforestation and climate change

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support.

Read More About Our Program To Reforest Mt. Kilimanjaro and all of East Africa http://sacredseedlings.com/un-supports-reforesting-kilimanjaro/

Palm Oil Industry Pushing Wildlife Into Extinction

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, most of the talk about sustainability in the palm oil industry is just smoke and mirrors. This is an immediate battle for the survival of critical species in our fragile web of life. To be more precise, this is about the survival of the Sumatran tiger and the orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo.

palm oil plantations and deforestation

Of course, palm oil’s footprint is much greater than that, but these iconic creatures are on the front lines as they are being pushed closer and closer to the brink of extinction every day. Meanwhile governments and corporations stall progress and talk about their nonsense commitments to sustainable palm oil–a label that producers buy instead of earn. Even sustainable palm oil is fueling deforestation and pushing orangutans and Sumatran tigers into extinction. They destroy one forest and plant a tree somewhere else in its honor. That isn’t sustainable. That is fraud.Unfortunately, there also is the pressure from other special interests who hope to privatize the genetics of endangered species. These interests are fanning the flames of deforestation from behind the scenes. These are all crimes against nature and it’s time to put private agendas aside. We all need more than palm oil and concrete to survive.

Nothing Sustainable About Palm Oil

By Shelley Goldberg

Most people know that palm oil is one of the most widely used vegetable oils in the world. You can even find it in popular foods like pizza, ice cream, and chocolate. But not everyone realizes that the production of palm oil is also destructive.

palm oil deforestation

Indeed, since vast quantities of land and forests must be cleared for plantation development, the growth and development of palm oil is linked to major issues. Besides deforestation, there’s climate change, habitat degradation, animal cruelty, indigenous rights abuses – you name it.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area that’s the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared to make way for palm oil production – every hour. Making matters worse, such large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction.

If the situation continues, species such as the orangutan could become extinct within the next five to 10 years. The Sumatran tiger has even less time, with about three years until extinction.

Now, if you can stomach those statistics, there is an opportunity brewing in the sector. Oil palm is one of the least expensive crops in the world. And its yields are five to 10 times greater than the output of other vegetable oils.

The crop is known for production of two types of oils from its fruit. The first is the oil derived from the fruit’s flesh, which is used for cooking oil, shortening, margarines, milk fat replacements, and cocoa butter substitutes. The other oil, derived from the kernel, is used primarily in the manufacturing of soaps, detergents, lotions, cosmetics, and toiletries.

Of course, the demand for these products isn’t going to end. Demand for palm oil is also rising in the biofuel, agrifood, and oleo chemistry industries. To satisfy this demand, global palm oil production is anticipated to be on a continuous increase going forward. Already, over 60 million metric tons of palm oil are exported daily from Southeast Asia.

Now, that’s not to say producers are ignoring the problems with palm oil production. In fact, the industry is beginning to take action. A controversial new document entitled, “The Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto” was released just weeks ago. It was signed by major palm oil producing and trading companies such as Sime Darby Plantation (SMEBF), IOI Corporation Berhad (IOIOF), and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLKBF).

deforestation and endangered species

At first, the manifesto appeared to be a major win for forest conservation. Yet organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists point to loopholes and vague language. They claim the document allows them to make only modest changes while continuing to destroy land (and push wildlife closer to extinction).

Now, in the spring, Procter & Gamble (PG) announced new goals to help ensure zero deforestation in its palm oil supply chain. Its goal is to trace supply chains of palm oil and palm kernel oil to supplier mills by December 31, 2015, and to plantations by 2020.

While P&G claims it’s already working with larger suppliers to improve tractability, small farmers in Malaysia and Indonesia account for 35% to 45% of the company’s palm oil production. So it has a ways to go.

More recently P&G announced that is conducting an in-field study to help small farmers improve their palm oil and palm kernel oil production. P&G is partnering with the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI) to field this study.

deforestation and endangered species

Other companies have taken similar steps in this direction. Danone (BN.PA) has committed to sourcing traceable palm oil with no links to deforestation, setting a goal to map its palm oil supply chain by the end of 2015.  Its pledge is followed by a series of similar commitments by companies such as Colgate-Palmolive Co.(CL), General Mills Inc. (GIS), and Mars.

Demand for sustainable palm oil is anticipated to grow in the near future. Especially as the industry addresses the environmental concerns and develops new plantations on existing cleared land – while also conserving natural resources and addressing the needs of the indigenous people and wildlife.

Source: http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2014/08/04/palm-oil-industry/

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.

Tanzania Planning Carbon Capture Project

Climate Change Solutions In The Forests

Reforestation is one of the few proven carbon capture solutions available today. Thanks to our partners in East Africa, we have one of the largest carbon capture opportunities in the world and it’s ready to begin immediately.

With the help of foundations, corporations, governments, NGOs and donors, we can conserve millions of hectares of existing forests and plant more than 100 million new trees. We will plant millions of more trees in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

forest conservation Tanzania and Kenya

According to very conservative estimates, the reforestation effort alone will capture 2.5 million tons of CO2 every year. The forest conservation (avoided deforestation) program will help even more.

We also have plans for smaller projects in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda that represent an opportunity to plant millions of additional trees and much more. It’s possibly the largest carbon-capture opportunity available today and one that we can’t afford to ignore. It’s large enough to help us all fight climate change, while promoting a sustainable watershed, ecosystem and economy for more than 100 million people across East Africa.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Please join us. We need volunteers, donations, grants, sponsors, and media coverage to kickstart this important program immediately. We also need more projects around the world. Forest conservation and reforestation can help capture carbon, defend ecosystems and the planet.

Save Kilimanjaro

We also offer voluntary carbon offsets to help organizations meet their carbon management objectives. We are working with the regulated carbon markets now to line up certifications. Learn more at http://sacredseedlings.com/east-africa-projects/

forest conservation and reforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Sumatran Tiger Habitat Trashed By Paper Giant

Indonesia’s Most Unique Resources On Verge Of Extinction 

An environmental NGO claims that deforestation conducted by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and its supplier companies has affected the endangered Sumatran tiger.

World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia communication coordinator Desma Murni said in Jakarta on Sunday that there were many forestry timber concession areas that overlapped with the habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger – most of them in areas not yet entitled to legal protection.

rainforest conservation palm oil plantations

“As the concession holder, from the very beginning APP has not shown responsible conduct by felling trees in areas identified as the habitat of the protected species,” she said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Desma said the Sumatran tiger was the only tiger sub-species left in Indonesia. Based on 2004 official data, she said, only around 400 Sumatran tigers could be found in their natural habitat and the number continued to decline due to excessive land clearing.

“If we continue to let this happen, the Sumatran tiger as a top predator will go extinct,” said Desma.

palm oil deforestation

She said APP may no longer conduct forest clearance activities in the area. However, according to Eyes on the Forest (EoF) reports, as of April, the pulp and paper industry had continuously carried out natural forest clearance even after it signed a commitment to stop clearing natural forests.

Desma said most of APP’s industrial forest permit (HTI) concession areas, particularly in Sumatra, were located in peat lands, which used a drainage system as a water management system.

The company’s new forest conservation police (FCP) has indicated it will continue and/or carry out high conservation value (HCV) and high carbon stock (HCS) studies in areas that are both still heavily covered with forests and can produce natural timber.

“In fact, as we know, most of APP’s HTI concession areas have been cleared and converted into acacia plantations. It’s very unlikely there will be an evaluation of natural forests as stipulated in the HCV and HCS study plans,” she said.

Desma added the safety of Sumatran tigers and their existence in both the Kerumutan and Pulau Muda blocks remained a question due to APP’s lack of transparency in tackling human and animal conflicts.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/11/24/app-criticized-tiger-habitat-loss.html

Kilimanjaro Reforestation Project Will Tackle Climate Change

Fight Climate Change, Poverty and Habitat Loss With Your New Website

The Internet is changing life as we know it. An international marketing agency is tapping the positive side of that dynamic to launch the “Web Of Life” campaign to help reforest the planet.

Crossbow Communications, a Denver-based advertising and public relations agency, is raising money for Sacred Seedlings, an international reforestation and forest conservation program.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

“Our partners in Tanzania have developed a plan with the forestry department to plant 10 million trees over the next five years at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” said Gary Chandler, president of Crossbow. “These trees will create jobs, preserve habitat for endangered species and help offset human contributions to climate change.”

As Chandler explained, some of the trees will be used to reforest degraded forests and deforested areas. Other species of trees will be grown to produce crops near villages and in towns and cities (coffee and cocoa, for example). Other trees will be placed near homes and buildings to protect them from the elements, reduce energy consumption, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions caused by energy demands. Sacred Seedlings also will fund several solar ovens for villagers to minimize the need to cut firewood for cooking. The company is developing similar programs around the world.

Tanzania also is one of the last strongholds for wildlife in Africa. The country known for the Serengeti National Park and other natural wonders is under siege by wildlife poachers. Last year, more than 10,000 elephants in Tanzania were slaughtered for their ivory. The strong demand for ivory in China and Thailand, for example, tempts locals in Tanzania and surrounding countries to kill elephants to feed their families. Unless economic interventions, such as job creation, succeed, the African elephant will be gone from the wild within the next decade. Rhinos and lions face the same fate.

Tanzania lion conservation

The Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania reached out to Sacred Seedlings In July in search of solutions to save the country’s iconic wildlife. The two organizations began crafting a reforestation plan to help fight poverty, climate change and wildlife poaching.

While Crossbow will sell sponsorship packages to corporations and foundations to fund the bulk of the project work, it’s launching a novel program to generate some immediate seed money for projects that are ready to proceed. According to Chandler, his web development team will donate all revenues to the “Web Of Life” campaign to raise money for reforestation. All revenues generated in this arena will be donated to Sacred Seedlings and its project partners in Tanzania.

“Our web pros will build blogs and websites for companies, small businesses, nonprofits and individuals to raise money for global reforestation,” Chandler said. “Every penny will be donated to this reforestation program. We will devote the next 10 weeks to this campaign, so please help us spread the word. It’s a great deal and an even better cause.”

The company hopes to raise $100,000 to start construction on three nurseries in shadows of Mt. Kilimanjaro in early 2014. It will cost about $1 million to build the nurseries and plant 10 million trees over the next five years. The company has several other projects in development now to accommodate growing global support for reforestation. The company’s goal is to plant as many trees as possible as fast as possible to help mitigate carbon buildup in the atmosphere, which is contributing to climate change and extreme weather events, such as the biblical floods that recently hit Colorado’s front range counties.

The “Web Of Life” campaign will include custom web/blog development on WordPress for $750 (our recommendation is to build one for you just like our site). Hosting and email services are additional. Clients must supply all copy, photos, artwork and logos. More complex sites and e-commerce sites will be assessed and estimates provided at no cost. No reasonable offer from anywhere in the world will be refused. 

Supporters will be listed and linked on the program website at http://sacredseedlings.com/tanzania-reforestation/. Supporters also can promote their involvement with the program by displaying the logo below on their site.

sacred seedlings logo

For more information about this campaign or official sponsorship opportunities, please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com 

Elephants Poisoned For Encroaching On Palm Oil Plantation

Palm Oil Plantations Destroying Biodiversity

Two critically endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead in an Indonesian national park and it is believed they were poisoned by workers for a palm oil corporation operating in the area, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Now, three dead elephants have been found in Tesso Nilo National Park on Sumatra island in the last month. The carcasses of a five-year-old male and a young female were found on Friday within a kilometer of each other, said WWF spokeswoman Syamsidar.

File Photo: Villagers inspect the carcass of a Sumatran elephant allegedly poisoned by workers at a palm oil plantation in Krueng Ayon.

“We believe that the elephants were poisoned as the carcasses were quite close to each other,” she said, adding that autopsies needed to be conducted before the cause of death could be confirmed.

A Sumatran elephant was discovered dead in the park early last month, also from suspected poisoning, she added. Fifteen Sumatran elephants were found dead last year in Riau province, where the national park is located. Approximately half of the fatalities were poisoned–sentencing them to a slow and miserable death, Syamsidar said.

forest conservation in Indonesia

Fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remain in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rampant expansion of palm oil and paper plantations and the mining industry have destroyed nearly 70 percent of the elephant’s forest habitat over 25 years, according to the WWF, and the animals have been targeted by poachers.

palm oil deforestation

In January, 14 Borneo pygmy elephants were found dead of suspected poisoning in the Malaysian state of Sabah (on the nearby island of Borneo). Three-month-old orphaned calf Joe made headlines around the world when he was pictured trying to rouse his dead mother.

Source: http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/poisoning-suspected-in-elephant-deaths-1.1526724#.Ua5NToK_2NA

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.

Denying Climate Change Is Like Denying Gravity

Global Warming Driving Extreme Weather

When people, organizations and corporations oppose efforts to reduce global warming and climate change, what are they actually fighting for? An energy policy that depends on hostile, foreign regimes? Energy policies that promote waste and inefficiency? Dirty energy and air pollution? Domestic exploration and development that contaminates dwindling water supplies? Short-sighted energy and transportation policies that grease the wheels of corporate greed?

air pollution China

If we let deadly carbon dioxide build up in our homes, it kills us. If we let carbon dioxide build up in our atmosphere it’s just as toxic, but slightly more diluted–with the compounding effects of trapping heat in the limited confines of our atmosphere.

air pollution in China

We should fight deadly carbon gases just because of their toxic nature, let alone the potential to add to global warming and the more visible effects of climate change.

Unfortunately, some scientists have erred in their methodology and their politics. Just like the experts on the other side of the debate, they are not above stupidity. Extreme weather events and trends may not be conclusive proof for some people, but who can deny that air pollution, carbon buildup and deforestation are bad ideas for multiple reasons.

Indeed, the evidence of climate change is piling up in the form of extreme weather events in different places, extreme temperatures, droughts, floods and rising tides–depending where you might reside. The toxins in our air, water and bodies are piling up, too.

sustainable cities network

If we can’t rally to fight society’s contribution to climate change trends, then fight air and water pollution, deforestation, waste, greed, corruption and ignorance. The result will be a healthier and more sustainable future for all of god’s creations–especially your children and grandchildren.

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting sustainable, resilient and livable cities. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.

Palm Oil Promoting Wildlife Extinction

Palm Oil Destroying Biodiversity

Palm oil plantations supplies to vegetable oil and biofuels could be accelerating the effects of climate change, new research shows, adding further credibility to claims the crop is not environmentally sustainable and eliminates biodiversity, which is pushing many species toward extinction.

An international team of scientists examined how the deforestation of peat swamps in Malaysia to make way for palm oil trees is releasing carbon which has been locked away for thousands of years. Their report has been published in the journal Nature.

deforestation and endangered species

Microbes then penetrate the carbon and the harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is released, which is thought to be the biggest contributor to global warming.

Unsustainable methods of growing crop-based biofuels have come under fire as environmentalists question their overall impact on the environment and the atmosphere.  Most palm oil plantations are contributing to deforestation and total carbon buildup in atmosphere.

As governments and companies look to biofuels to provide a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels in transport, the industry has expanded rapidly. More than 80 percent of palm oil is grown in Indonesia and Malaysia. According to some estimates, an area the size of Greece is cleared every year for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is especially attractive because it is cheaper than rapeseed oil and soybean oil for biodiesel.

palm oil deforestation

However, leaked European Union data has shown palm oil biodiesel to be more polluting than conventional gasoline when the effects of deforestation and peat-land degradation is taken into account.

In their study, the research team measured water channels in palm oil plantations in the Malaysian peninsular which were originally peat swamp forest. They found ancient carbon came from deep in the soil, then broke down and dissolved into nearby streams and rivers as deforestation occurred.

“We have known for some time that in South East Asia oil palm plantations were a major threat to biodiversity–and that the drainage could release huge amounts of carbon dioxide during the fires seen there in recent years,” said Chris Freeman, one of the authors of the report and an environmental scientist at the University of Bangor in Wales.

rainforest conservation palm oil plantations

“But this discovery of a ‘hidden’ new source of problems in the waters draining these peatlands is a reminder that these fragile ecosystems really are in need of conservation,” he added.

There are approximately 28,000 square kilometers of industrial plantations in Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo and there are even more planned, making them a major contributor to peat swamp deforestation in the region, the paper said.

“Our results are yet another reminder that when we disturb intact peat swamps and convert them to industrial biofuel plantations, we risk adding to the very problem that we are trying to solve,” Freeman said.

Indonesia deforestation and endangered species

Industry efforts to bring this deforestation under control have come through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). It was set up in 2004 to establish clear ethical and ecological standards for producing palm oil, and its members include high-street names like Unilever, Cadbury’s, Nestlé and Tesco, as well as palm oil traders such as Cargill and ADM. Together, these companies represent 40 percent of global palm oil trade. But since then, forest destruction has continued. Many RSPO members are taking no steps to avoid the worst practices associated with the industry, such as large-scale forest clearance and taking land from local people without their consent.

On top of this, the RSPO actually risks creating the illusion of sustainable palm oil, justifying the expansion of the palm oil industry.

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. It’s also promoting forest conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and wildlife conservation through its subsidiary–Sacred Seedlings. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com to join our network.

Earth News Celebrates 20 Years Of Environmental Conservation

Pioneers In Environmental Journalism

Earth News showcased it’s first environmental success stories 20 years ago. Since then, it has produced hundreds of articles, from the Rocky Mountain News to the Jakarta Post. The founders also have published 11 related books–and hopefully a difference. It has profiled the efforts of environmental pioneers such as David Brower, Al Gore, Robert Redford, Anita Roddick, and scores of unsung environmental heroes from around the world.

Indonesia deforestation and endangered species

Earth Tones launched the environmental news service on Earth Day in 1991. It profiles environmental success stories from around the world.

The syndicated column has been published around the globe. The company and its founders have written and published eleven books for New York publishers on related topics, including:

  • Environmental Heroes (Pruett Publishing, 1995)
  • Contemporary Environmentalists (Facts on File, 1996)
  • Environmental Causes (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)
  • Alternative Energy Sources (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)
  • Recycling (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)
  • Kids Who Make a Difference (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)
  • Protecting Our Air, Land and Water (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)
  • Guardians of Wildlife (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)
  • Natural Foods and Products (Henry Holt & Company, 1997)

Gary Chandler author

“We are looking forward to the next 20 years,” said Gary Chandler, company president. “The landscape is changing rapidly–in good ways and bad. There’s no shortage of important environmental topics to cover.”

Tanzania lion conservation

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

For more information about Earth Tones, Inc. and Earth News, please visit http://www.earthnewsmedia.com/climate-change/

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Earth Tones is a subsidiary of Crossbow Communications, a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs. Crossbow has helped influence public opinion and public policy around the world. It has won state and national awards, while setting state and national records for our clients. Government relations. Media relations. Stakeholder relations. Build your bottom line and a better world with Crossbow.