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A whirlwind month and the project we have been waiting for!

We are still alive and kicking around, not on stilts this time, but the shinkansen. After a much needed break in Australia, we returned to frigid Japan, an empty fridge and a full calendar of speaking events to attend.Guest Speaking at Soroptimist Japan - A 3000 dollar Donation to the Pongo Hogo Hogo Challenge!! Thank you so much!

(We first met Takatani san last year when he stopped to give a donation in Okayama late last year. Living more than a 1000kms away, we were shocked to see him at the event, having travelled all day on bullet train to come see us! Amazing and thank you! We'll see you in May)Bos Public speaking event in Nishi Tokyo (Raised $400 in donations for Pongo. Thank you so much everyone for your kind donations)

Travelling by train with stilts seems completely wrong, and more often than not, the passengers themselves have let us know that something is not right with more than the odd uncomfortable look. Then again, you can't really blame them after having to survive a ride with a bamboo pole threatening the holes in their noses. Once arriving at the venues, it is an interesting, if somewhat uneasy feeling to be greeted by a roomful of people all waiting to hear from you about what life was like on top of the stilts. The PR was never a side of the challenge that we were good at (as you already know from the speed of these blogs...which are still coming by the way!), but is one that we are beginning to learn about with each foray onto the stage. It is defintely a different kind of challenge, but we are facing it just like we did the stilts last year and are quickly learning to love the unexpected that comes from talking to different people in different places.
(with our good fri
Align Centerend Inoue San!)
But there is a reason behind all of this and it comes via news straight from the forests of Borneo!
Our challenge began after students in my class said that the rainforests couldn't be saved because the problem of deforestation had become too big; too impossible. The challenge was to show that nothing is too big no matter how impossible it seems and that if we worked together, maybe we could make a difference in saving these rainforests. The challenge to walk on stilts was one to make believers out of the non believers (including us as it turned out!) in that class, but the idea to raise funds depended heavily on having a worthwhile project in which to use them. We fought against them being simply put in an account somewhere to be divided up and used for paperwork in some NPO with a great marketing department. The money that people gave us, and the work that we were about to do ourselves had to be for a project that promised to do what we had set out to do - to try and protect some of Borneo's rainforests. After months of talks with BOS people all around the world, we got wind of an idea to protect an area of virgin forest big enough to release a good number of the orangutans now being rehabilited in centres across Borneo. It was exciting talk, but always tentative as it was the first time that such a project had been attempted with the Indonesian government's support. However, the ball seems to have bgun rolling and the various groups involved, for the first time, are beginning to work together to make what had seemed impossible, a real, viable prospect.

BOS Indonesia along with BOS Japan, BOS Australia, BOS UK and Red Apes USA are now working together to secure an 86 450 hectare parcel of virgin forest in the East Kalimantan regions of Kutai Timur and Kutai Kertanegara. Almost 3 million dollars will be needed by 2015 in order to secure the land, a significant amount less than the 50 million dollar amount first envisiged by BOS Japan for barren land that would need reforesting. The money from the Pongo Hogo Hogo Challenge will be going to help fund this. However there is still much to be done. 3 million is a bit more than we managed managed to raise last year and so with a good challenge facing all of us now, what we all thought was the end of the challenge at Cape Sata earlier this year has turned out to be the start of a bigger and much more exciting one! A challenge to really save part of this forest.

This time it is about all of us! 3 million sounds like a massive amount, but then, so did 3000kms before we started walking last year. We did it with the help of everyone along the way, and I think we can do it again in the same way; not by waiting for the NPOs to start, not by waiting for the governments to start, but by starting ourselves. Like us if you wish to be 100% certain of what your efforts will do before you decide to get involved please feel free to email us here or any one of the BOS foundations above for more info about it.

Similarly I am including some links to official reports about the project that can bve found online here. Have a look.

Asia Views Online Supplement Article
BOS Japan Link (Japanese Only)
It is an exciting picture to paint. A safe place for these red apes to be.


より大きな地図で PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia を表示

posted by Mick and Miki Tan @ 5:50 PM, ,