HoB celebrates Earth Day with the Heart of Borneo Festival and Forum



Posted on 08 May 2012  | 
In the lead up to Earth Day, 22 April 2012, WWF Indonesia and WWF’s HoB Global Initiative celebrated the rich biodiversity and natural beauty of the Borneo jungles and its indigenous cultural heritage, with a five day Festival and Forum held in Central Jakarta, Indonesia.

The theme for the event was: ‘Bringing the Heart of Borneo conservation message to city dwellers, to promote awareness for a sustainable future for the HoB'.

The forum featured a WWF and UNDP co-hosted ‘Partnership Approach’ breakfast dialogue with ambassadors, diplomats and senior officials from 25 embassies, agencies and/or multilateral organizations, who together, forged commitments for the support of green economy initiatives in the HoB.

The HoB Forum also provided the venue for discussion of policy, economic and business aspects of building a green economy in the HoB, effectively laying ground work for HoB government commitments on a green economy roadmap, to be showcased at the forthcoming Rio+20 Summit in Brazil.

Sharing perspectives from all parts of the globe, the forum provided new ideas on how businesses could work together with local governments and communities in Borneo to sustainably conserve the precious forests of the Heart of Borneo.

The youth voice was also heard, with schools from throughout Jakarta competing for a place in the final of the ‘Great Green Economy Youth Debate’ – held on the last day of the Forum and live streamed on the net throughout the region – with the prize for the winners, a fun and educative trip of a lifetime to the Heart of Borneo.

Indigenous leaders and performers from the HoB also used the occasion to raise their political voice to help define future priorities for their homelands. Anye Apui, Customary Chief of Hulu Bahau, Malinau, East Kalimantan, summarised how deeply the identity of Dayak Peoples was tied to the forest.

“Yes, timber is gold, but this is not the kind of gold that is good for us. I want to protect the forest in my area, as the forest is life for Dayak people,” he said.

The indigenous peoples close connection to the forests of Borneo, was also highlighted through a series of cultural events at the Festival of Borneo, staged in one of Jakarta’s biggest malls.

Over 4 days, thousands of visitors were offered rare glimpses into the traditional music and dance performances of indigenous peoples from the heart of Kalimantan and a demonstration of traditional Dayak tattooing. All cultural forms expressed the Dayaks’ respect for the land and wildlife of Borneo.

Highlights of the forum and festival can be viewed online.
WWF team at the Heart of Borneo Festival 2012
WWF team at the Heart of Borneo Festival 2012
© WWF-Indonesia Enlarge

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