Local Project: Borneo

Can better informed and aware travelers contribute to sustainable tourism? playplanet believes information is a key both for travelers and local individuals and communities when working with sustainable tourism. playplanet’s work in Borneo, Indonesia aims to solve the heartbreaking issue of orangutans and deforestation, while supporting the local community with alternative incomes.

Many people in Borneo find their main source of income by working for the logging-industry. The logging business is highly destructive and though it may generate a short-term income the long-term impact is harsh. By both deforestation and planting new forest to later deconstruct for sales of wood the beautiful and amazing ape orang-utan are endangered.

playplanet works with both creating an alternative source of income for locals and with environmental preservation. By enhancing traditional practices, such as handicraft, and make it profitable occupation, locals can make better choices and contribute to community development rather than working for multinational corporations.

playplanet uses the tool of information to create action and impact. In Borneo we work closely with local partners like our friend Eddy Susanto, a 30 year old freelance guide in the Tanjung Putting National Park. As a freelance guide Eddy is independent from following the mass-produced tourism and instead opens a new door for his traveling friends.

Eddy enjoys his work, he can stay in the nature everyday and learn from it and he invites explorers to join him. There are many people who can be like Eddy, a independent guide sharing his local pearls. But with the competition of big tourist agencies and the degrading environment Eddy’s work and community is on stake. Eddy made the choice not to work for the logging-industry and with the respect he holds to nature and its inhabitants, like orangutans, it is our responsibility to be aware and decrease our own footprint – what happens in Borneo is closely related to global trade.

As tourist we can learn about the situation, raise awareness and change our own behaviour by witnessing the magnificent jungle and its endanger. Every travel can be an activist on their journey!

playplanet is continuously supporting guides and locals like Eddy and work with spreading the jungle instead of cutting it down. The orang-utan needs a home, just like each one of us! One of the keystones of playplanet’s vision is connectivity through information. playplanet has also collaborated with many people like social entrepreneurs, local artists, and engineers in developing the local products for sell and arranged a photo-exhibition in Seoul, South Korea. Step by step, we listen to the local community in Borneo and build projects together with traveling friends to support all inhabitants of Borneo, humans as well as animals.