Eco tourism – one of the building blocks for a green Economy in the HoB?



Posted on 14 December 2011  | 
As one of the key ingredients to promoting a Green Economy in Borneo, developing eco tourism in East Kalimantan is underlining a move towards valuing social and environmental capital. Leafing through the Apau Ping ‘visitors’ book, in East Kalimantan’s remote Bahau Hulu sub district, the first traces of tourism are visible.

While a relatively new concept in the area, arriving in Apau Ping after a few days on a long boat flanked by pristine forests and rapids, it’s clear it won’t be like this for long. For anyone who wants to see and experience a pristine pocket of Borneo’s primary rainforest the journey from Tanjung Selor up the Kayan, Pujungan and Bahau rivers is hard to beat.

For visitors to the region trips can be tailored to specific wants and needs. It is possible to fly to Long Alango and then travel up the river through Long Kumuat, Long Berini, Apau Ping and Long Tua. Alternatively, travelers can get a longboat from Tanjung Selor and make the long and rapid filled trip up the river. From here, it takes roughly two days to reach Long Alango with an overnight in Pujungan, the capital of Pujungan sub district.

Homestays are available (see below for price list) in each of the villages, as is a jungle hut at Long Tua. The Long Tua experience is emphasized as the draw card. Here, visitors can stay in the forest, eat fish from the river, look for white buffalo, and trek in the surrounding hills. There are also plans to introduce a traditional stone cemetery across the river as an attraction at this site.

Since December 2006 when the Apau Pint visitor’s book was started, 57 people have come through. Only a handful of these have been foreigners.

Benjamin Jelle Visser, a student doctor from the Netherlands wrote on the 8th of September 2010, “what an amazing beautiful forest and nice people”.

Tamas and Adrien Brunner from Hungary wrote on the 28th of March 2011, “It was a very long journey from Tanjung Selor but worth every minute… Amazing landscapes and people”.

It is hoped over the coming years, this number will increase. Part of developing eco tourism in the area will also be re developing WWF’s research station in Kayan Mentarang National Park, Lalut Birai as a tourism destination.

Villages in the area have also requested funds to build up improved services and infrastructure like a hotel and hydropower at Long Tua. The hydropower will combat generator-operating costs and help the initiative reduce significant overheads. To do this and encourage a collaborative system a committee of ecotourism and culture has been formed. Based on community management they have already set transport and accommodation price regulations and will work together to lobby for the additional resources from the Indonesian Government. Already, the Government has conducted a feasibility study for the hydropower addition so it is hoped it won’t be long before the plan can be implemented.

The tourism committee, which was created five years ago, has had two elections and is now into its the first year of the second term. Simon Enggang from Apau Ping is the current head. He has plans to build on connections with WWF Indonesia and the Kayan Mentarang National Park, collaborating with both groups to help further realize the potential of eco tourism. “The benefits of eco tourism will go to all people,” said Enggang.

Yusuf Apui, Head of Apau Pring is also optimistic about the ongoing development of eco tourism in the area. Already, the accommodation and transport prices, as well as the tourism plans have been accommodated in village regulations. “There are great expectations for eco tourism to develop in the region and increase economic conditions for the surrounding communities,” he said.

Fees for tourists in Bahau Hulu

LONG ANALGO
Homestay: Rp 100,000/person
Hotel: Rp 200,000/person
Guide: Rp 120,000/day
Porter: 90,000/day

Local package:
Long Alango – Lalut Birai (overnight) – Long Alango: Rp 700,000/person
Price to spend the night in Lalut Birai: Rp 130,000/person

LONG BERINI/LONG KEMUAT/LONG TEBULO/LONG ULI
Homestay: Rp 100,000/person
Porter: Rp 90,000/person

APAU PING

Homestay: Rp 100,000/person
Guide: Rp 120,000/day
Porter: Rp 90,000/day
Guided trekking
(Walking from Apau Ping – Long Layu): Rp 170,000/day
Trekking porter: Rp 130,000/day

Local package:

Apau Ping – Padang Bantend/Long Tua (bermalam) – Apau Ping: Rp 700,000/person
Price to spend the night in Long Tua: Rp 130,000/person

TREK ‘BANTENG’ (long distance)
Apau Ping (Bahau Hulu) – Long Layu (Krayan Selatan)
  • Rp 5,000,000/person
  • Rp 8,000,000/2 persons
  • Rp 12,000,000/3 persons
This package includes: food and the drink during the trip, the boat/transport, one guide and one porter, spending the night in the Long Tua hut and five nights in the forest with the trek.
Bahau Hulu
© Gemma Deavin / WWF Indonesia Enlarge
© Gemma Deavin / WWF Indonesia

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