Participants at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2013, held in Bali -Indonesia this early October, may have learned more about Heart of Borneo (HoB), through the participation of HoB Indonesia National Working Group (Pokjanas) in the APEC Unthinkable Week 2013.
This promotional event was organized by Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. In collaboration with WWF-Indonesia and GIZ FORCLIME, Pokjanas exposed Entrepreneurship Ecotourism in the Heart of Borneo through participation in the two sub-events, APEC Partnership Forum and APEC Creative Expo. With this, HoB Indonesia seeks for further promotion of ecotourism in HoB, including the nature and culture tourism as one of the community's economic development.
In the APEC Partnership Forum, the local leader from HoB, who is the Head of Kapuas Hulu District in West Kalimantan, Abang Muhammad Nasir, spoke about development of ecotourism in Kapuas Hulu District. He explained that Kapuas Hulu is one of the districts in the HoB areas that has declared itself a conservation district, with its administrative area largely dominated by two protected areas, Betung Kerihun National Park and Danau Sentarum National Park. These two important places in the HoB have become the stars in the biggest tourism promotion event in Kapuas Hulu District. Since 2011, the local government has started to annually organize Festival Danau Sentarum, inviting tourists to enjoy and explore nature and culture in the two national parks.
The HoB APEC Creative Expo unleashed ecotourism potentials in HoB areas. Useful information on HoB ecotourism were displayed and shared to visitors of the event. It has also become the window of opportunity to promote local community initiatives related to ecotourism issue. For example, community-based tourism projects and environmental-friendly handicraft products. The shown products were not only that it is produced by local community but also sourced from non-timber materials, such as grains of woods.
The development of ecotourism is one of the five major programs that was agreed by the HoB countries. Development of ecotourism in HoB area is expected to be the main focus for socio-economic development within the HoB and engaging local community. (end)