COMMUNITIES TAKING CHARGE OF ECOTOURISM IN THE HEART OF BORNEO
In 2002, after a cross-visit to Sabah, communities in Hulu Pujungan decided to form an ecotourism committee, and learn and practice skills to develop ecotourism in their area. Shortly after that, communities in Krayan Hulu, Bahau Hulu and Long Bawan also started to organize for community-based ecotourism. Now a days, LSM Tana Tam Krayan Hulu, FORMADAT, Ecotourism Committee Bio Sahe and BPTU welcome tourists and visitors to experience the lifestyle and nature in the Heart of Borneo. The committees maintain contacts with each other and learn from each other, and together they are developing trans-boundary ecotourism with local authorities.
The communities’ way help create financial benefits for local people and conserve natural landscapes. A tradition of hospitality and guiding skills ensure good services for tourists who want to have a real Borneo cultural and natural adventure.
PARTNERS OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ECOTOURISM
Successful partnerships have been developed between communities and tour operators based on respect, trust, and adoption of fair business practices. Borneo Jungle Safari, Miri, Sarawak, and De’Gigant Tours, Samarinda, East Kalimantan, have signed MoU with local communities to collaborate in the development and marketing of ecotourism.
Several other people and organizations are partners of the local ecotourism committees and support their activities: WWF; Tourism Offices in Malinau and Nunukan; the Kayan Mentarang National Park authorities. The pilots and organization of MAF have lent support and assistance to travelers to the interior, and also explored some of the forest trails and shared their stories. Several other tourists to the area have shared their photographs (some used for this web-site) and helped spread the word about community ecotourism in the Heart of Borneo.