Tuesday 27 March 2012

Exciting and sad

This is just a quick and hasty update. I just found a link of a YouTube video which really upset me.

I am going back to Sumatra, you know... I just have to. It is the most wonderful place in the world with the most wonderful people. When I was standing on this terrace above the river something really weird happened to me; I must have fallen in love, it's the only explanation. 

Riha giving a cooking class in the very spot I saw MY Tangkahan for the first time.
Have a look at the pictures on my Picasa Web, there is no explanation needed to see which ones are from our way through plantations to Tangkahan, the jungle trips and the moment when we came out of the jungle on our elephants to reach Bukit Lawang and the ground was barren and red. We all had tears in our eyes. And there they had logged down a rubber plantation to make place for palm oil. At least in this area they leave the rainforest alone. I now go back to learn more about their lives, their dreams and what I can do to help them come true.

And then this happens just across the park at the other side:

I knew that things were not quite right in this region, but I did not think that it was that bad.

See, this National Park - it is a park for crying out loud, the meaning of it being that it IS protected land... just to think of it to make it into a plantation...

Grrr... sorry...

... this park is one of the remaining lungs of the world. If that goes down, there will not a lot be left as the other ones are going down at the same rate. If one can be stopped, it shows the others can be saved too. To stop this, the world needs the local people to stand up and fight, but they cannot do that alone. They need to at least see that the world is behind them. With publicity all of a sudden politicians get involved and things get moving. Silence is the killer!

I will go back to my wonderful Tangkahan, and I will do my bit to help them to get into a sustainable future without destroying their forest and their land. I just believe with the whole of my heart that it is possible to keep the cake and eat it. We have the technology to help create clean jobs so that they can maintain their culture and their environment. But it needs a bit of patience and trust. In the meantime the people who are after the quick money have to be kept at bay as otherwise there is nothing that can be done anymore.

Please share this video on your networking sites, tell people about it. Let the people of Tripa know that they are not alone in this.

and always yours

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