1 year, 2 stilts, 3 thousand kms
Monday, February 16, 2009
Since 1980 Borneo has seen more than 80% of its forests disappear due largely to illegal logging activities and the expansion of palm oil plantations. The rate of deforestation is not slowing with Indonesia still losing the equivalent of 6 football sized areas of land every minute. The process of clear cutting and then burning the forest to make way for oil palm plantations causes massive damage to the environment, and has directly resulted in Indonesia's inclusion as one of the world's top 3 producers of greenhouse emissions (after China and the US.)
What is more, the expansion of these plantations in to some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems has meant that whole species now face the threat of extinction. Pongo, the orangutan, is one such animal.
Despite being one of our closest relatives, the orangutan has received the least attention of all the great apes (compared to gorillas and chimpanzees especially) which has meant that the public is largely unaware of the seriousness of their situation. According to recent studies, if the current rate of deforestation continues, the orangutan will be the first of the great apes to become extinct, with some figures suggesting by as soon as 2012. That is only 3 years! While they may share 97% of our DNA, making them more like humans than any other animal, the current situation in Indonesia has left them helpless and facing a very grim future without help from us.
- 1 year, 2 stilts, 3 thousand kms. We will walk the length of Japan, from its most northerly point to its most southerly on stilts in order to raise money to protect the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, and in turn the orangutan
(otherwise known, to us anyway, as PONGO!)
- We will attempt to stop at every school that is on our route to meet, talk with and be inspired by the people we are doing it for – the children of Japan.
- We WILL NOT use any money raised to cover any of the costs associated with the challenge. All of the costs will be paid for out of our own savings so that every
cent will be used for the cause we are working together for.
- We will not have a support vehicle or support crew. The challenge will be 100% carried out by us. Food. Water. Tents. Clothes. All carried by us. It wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise would it!
posted by Mick and Miki Tan @ 2:06 AM,
- At April 17, 2009 at 12:55 AM, Kate said...
Wow!! It's really a challenge, but why not! :) I'm sure your mission will be well achieved. I'm very happy to hear what you guys are doing for us and especially for the better world for the next generation. My 2 yr-old son seriously refused the cashiers putting his stuff in 'plastic bag'. He will say 'no! I don't like plastic bag' <-- exactly this phase, in Thai. So, you have full support from us. All the best!!
- At April 17, 2009 at 6:06 PM, savepongo said...
Thank you for your words of encouragement! It sounds like you have been teaching some very good habits to your 2 year old son! Well done! We might see him doing a crazy challenge like this some day soon :-)
It will be our kids that make the difference in this world!
I hope you are safe and that all the troubles you are having over there settle down soon! Nice to hear from you!
- At April 18, 2009 at 5:31 AM, savepongo said...
Hi Kate! Thank you so much for your comment. it was nice to hear from you and your son's atitude is great encouragement for us too :)
Please keep your eye on this blog and stay in touch!
- At July 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Philip Lee said...
Michael and Miki,
Thanks you for what you are doing. I blogged about you and hope my readers would be challenged to do something.
I realised that even my 1 year old daughter is being complacent and let her dad carry her all the time. She knows that loving dad would oblige so she need not walk on her 2 feet even when she can. Gotta start her on that before she goes on stilts one day. :)
By the way, I am from Malaysia. I will be following your challenge closely through your blog and it will be nice to see you in Borneo,Malaysia and Indonesia one day.
Terima kasih! (Thank you from the orangutan in Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia - you can use this on your campaign... some cultural titbits.)