Ecotourism: a form of travel that aims to offer a unique tourist experience while at the same time improve the well-being of local communities and the environment. It’s treading softly during your adventures, taking care.
Ecotourism in the Heart of Borneo offers a pathway to a more sustainable future for local communities. It provides an alternative way to generate income for communities while protecting the natural environment.
Involving communities in ecotourism development is critically important in order to achieve broad and equitable benefits. Equally important is that the communities maintain control over the level and kind of tourism they want in their land.
Community based ecotourism
West Kalimantan: Kapuas Hulu
Home to Indonesia’s longest river, the Kapuas, and two National Parks nominated as World Heritage and Ramsar sites by UNESCO, West Kalimantan is a great place to explore Borneo’s heart.
WWF works closely with Komunitas Pariwisata Kapuas Hulu
(KOMPAKH), a community based ecotourism organisation in the Kapuas Hulu district of West Kalimantan. KOMPAKH began in 2005 as a way to promote responsible tourism to the Kapuas Hulu district. It also supports the well-being of local communities.
Offering a range of tourism packages, KOMPAKH’s vision is to:
East Kalimantan: Pujungan and BahauHulu, in the Malinau District, and the sub-districts of Krayan and Krayan Selatan
- Raise awareness and ensure conservation of cultural and natural wealth in local communities
- Encourage sustainable and responsible tourism in the Kapuas Hulu district
- Optimise tourism service quality and support the welfare of the Kapuas Hulu community
- Maximise the involvement of local communities in sustainable and responsible tourism
- Promote widely information on the natural and cultural attractiveness of Kapuas Hulu.
Supported by WWF and the local government, communities in Hulu Pujungan, Hulu Bahau (Malinau) and the Krayan Highlands (Nunukan) have been working together to progress ecotourism projects
The sub-districts of Pujungan and Bahau Hulu, in the Malinau District, and the sub-districts of Krayan and Krayan Selatan, in the Nunukan District, are part of the heart land of DayakKenyah, LunDayeh, Sa' ban and other groups who settled this area hundreds of years ago.
Some areas are ideal destinations for ecotourism expeditions and jungle trekking, short- and long-distance, amidst primary and secondary forest. A world of wild rivers adventures, old village sites and archeological remains, traditional culture and village life, and Dayak warm hospitality awaits visitors.
The future of the Heart of Borneo region depends on the sustainable management of the timber industries that operate there.
There are several ways to achieve this: encouraging investment in good forestry practices, using financial and trade levers to promote improved management where it is needed and also promoting forest certification, such as that afforded by the Forest Stewardship Council
Responsible palm oil
Outside the confines of the Heart of Borneo, there is still potential for oil palm expansion. Parts of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) with degraded soils and vegetation may offer the best prospects, and WWF has identified such areas that have low biodiversity and other environmental values.
Industry-endorsed mechanisms such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
(RSPO) and its “Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production” represent new economic opportunities in the oil palm sector to replace unsustainable forest conversion practices.
Factsheet 6: Sustainable palm oil production
Developing a strategy to support and promote sustainable palm oil production aims at encouraging corporations to engage in sustainable oil palm production practices. This engagement of corporations to adhere to credible global standards contributes towards conservation, allowing the continuity of economic activities while ensuring a decrease in conversion rates of forest areas into agricultural land.