Indonesia’s President announces a palm oil freeze in effort to curb deforestation.
At the end of April, President Joko Widodo announced a moratorium on new licences for oil palm plantations and mining permits.

The Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, and Acehnese leaders, Malik Mahmud Al Haytar (Wali Nanggroe Aceh, or Guardian of Aceh) and Zaini Abdullah (Governor of Aceh), went on to publicly support the move, declaring a moratorium on the expansion of palm oil and mining in the Leuser Ecosystem.

As well as putting a stop to the expansion of plantations, the government is also to undertake a review of existing licenses. This could mean that in areas where companies have secured permits, but have not yet begun operations, forests could be saved from the bulldozers.

Leuser is the only place in the world where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos coexist, and represents a vital stronghold for all these critically endangered species, so the freeze on development within the ecosystem is fantastic news.

Since the announcement, Indonesia’s ministry of forestry has rejected oil palm plantation permit applications from 61 companies, sparing 851,000 hectares from conversion. The national moratorium on the expansion of oil palm and mining concessions is off to a great start!

On our Borneo trekking tours it is possible to see orangutans living freely in their natural environment. This is a rare opportunity due to the disastrous effects that palm plantations have had on the habitats of these beautiful creatures.

The magnificent Borobudur temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument, an ancient site widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders. Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Syailendra dynasty, the temple’s design in Gupta architecture reflects India’s influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian. This awe inspiring monument is truly a marvel. After a visit here you will understand why it is Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction and a famous icon of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.

Located on the island of Java, the temple sits majestically on a hilltop overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. It covers an enormous area, measuring 123 x 123 meters. The monument is a marvel of design, decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The architecture and stonework of this temple has no equal. And it was built without using any kind of cement or mortar! The structure is like a set of massive interlocking Lego blocks held together without any glue.

The temple has remained strong even through ten centuries of neglect. It was rediscovered in 1815, buried under volcanic ash. In the 1970’s the Indonesian Government and UNESCO worked together to restore Borobudur to its former majesty The restoration took eight years to complete and today Borobudur is one of Indonesia and the world’s most valuable treasures.

The temple is decorated with stone carvings in bass-relief representing images from the life of Buddha. Commentators claim that this is the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world, unsurpassed in artistic merit.

Borneo holidays are an excellent choice for those who want to explore the ancient monuments of the world. Visiting these awe-inspiring places with a tour guide allows you to find out first-hand knowledge from a local of the area.

The Tanjung Puting National Park, which covers territory the size of Bali, is home to an amazing array of wildlife including it’s world famous orang utans. The park is also home to monkeys, birds and other wildlife, not to mention the pristine vegetation of the jungle itself. This is a world famous natural treasure which attracts a growing number of international visitors each year whilst on their Borneo trekking holidays.

Tanjung Puting is located in Central Kalimantan. The area was originally declared as a game reserve in 1935 and became a national park in 1982. The park sits on a peninsula that juts out into the Java sea. The sheer size of the park means that it has diverse habitat zones. This diversity means the park is home to a great variety of inhabitants, both flora and fauna.

The incredible jungle surrounds make this an amazing place to visit if you’re after a truly outdoor adventure. It is an oasis of pure clean air, a clear night sky as well as a home to the gentle people of the jungle – the orang utans.

The orang utans are undoubtedly the best known inhabitants of the park, made famous through the work of the Orangutan Research and Conservation Program based at the Camp Leakey research station. Camp Leakey is an orangutan preserve and the site of the longest continuous study of any wild animal in the history of science. With around three quarters of the world’s orang utan’s population living on Borneo, this park is the ideal place to see these incredible creatures in the wild.

Because the vegetation of Tanjung Puting supports a large population of animals this park is one of the most important areas in Southeast Asia for the preservation of primates, birds, reptiles and fish.

To reach the Tanjung Puting National Park take a flight to the Iskandar Airport at Pangkalan Bun from Jakarta or other main Indonesian cities.

For more detailed information on the park please call us.

Deep sea Divers from Flores to Papua, from Bunaken in North Sulawesi to Derawan in East Kalimantan have often spotted giant whalesharks migrating with the ocean currents from Australia swimming up north, to later return south again. But lately, it seems, these huge mammals have decided to linger longer in these warm tropical seas presumably since they find food more easily here and feel unthreatened.

And indeed, the Indonesian Government has by Decree of the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs No. 18 of the year 2013 proclaimed Whalesharks  as protected and endangered species, and are prohibited from being hunted and caught.

Villagers in the district of Bone Bolango in the province of Gorontalo in the northern arm of the island of Sulawesi have noticed that since last year the whaleshark population in these waters has increased, so much so that it has become the latest craze for divers both Indonesian and from overseas to get up close and personal here with these fantastic creatures. Despite their size, nonetheless, whalesharks do not attack humans, since they survive only on plankton and small fish.

Minister for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti decided recently to plunge herself into the deep here to view the situation. Emerging from the sea, Minister Susi reminded that although the whalesharks are allowed to be observed for tourism activities, they should nonetheless still be protected.

“Yachts and boats carrying tourists must be limited in their numbers since a too large number of people and boats will put great stress on these fish”, reminded Minister Susi.

Whalesharks belong to one of the largest fish species in the world, growing to a length of 12 meters to 18 meters, and can live to between 60 to 100 years. They breed slowly, however, starting to breed only from the age of 25 and produce only one fish per productive period.

The village of Ulele, where these whalesharks are frequently found has been designated a regional conservation area by the local government of Bone Botango.

Besides gathering by the Bay of Gorontalo and the Bay of Tomini, whalesharks are also found in the Bay of Cenderawasih in north Papua, and are often spotted north of the Derawan Islands in East Kalimantan. In Sabah too, especially at Lankayan, whale sharks pass by between April til June and early booking is essential if you would like to see this unique species whilst jungle trekking in Borneo.

This weekend, on the 28th and 29th of May, Londoners will be happily surprised with attractive presentations of entertainment, cultural performances and a culinary journey to the Indonesian islands, to take place at the popular Potters Field by the river Thames that has as backdrop the historical Tower Bridge.

On Saturdays and Sundays, some 30,000 people stroll in this Park, so that during the two days’ Indonesia Weekend, an expected 60,000 people will be provided with an encounter and a taste of Indonesia, said Endang Nurdin, spokesperson of the Bangga Indonesia Community at the press Conference on the subject at the Ministry of Industry in Jakarta.

Additionally, there will be a workshop and a number of interactive programs, among which discussions on the Conservation of the Orangutan. One hundred participants from Indonesia will fill the program with Fashion Shows, Cultural performances and Culinary presentations on Indonesia’s diverse range of attractive destinations, with the aim to popularize Indonesia with London’s discerning consumers and make Indonesia their Destination of choice for Business and Leisure.