Borneo expedition is not a holiday tour, but for those who love nature
Time : 2008-07-21Author : From :
In order to make people aware of rainforest conservation and climate change, a group of Hong Kong people have decided to travel to Borneo for their next expedition in July.
The itinerary and program include visiting a native village (Iban) for cultural exchange where the group will take part in the villagers' daily livelihood and complete a communal facility and then move to Borneo to experience its fascinating rainforest and amazing geological features.
A beautiful scenery of Borneo
The team will spend a few days of adventure - exploring one of the world's largest underground caves, trekking along the forest trails and enjoying the largest rainforest in the Asia-Pacific rim.
This is no ordinary package tour. Apart from paying an expedition fee, applicants donate money to Polar Museum Foundation for education and conservation of polar regions. There may be a screening for applicants to ensure the participants share similar mission with that of the organizer. They must demonstrate mutual understanding and commitment in nature conservation, and care for humanity.
In the past two years, they have been contributing to building schools and facilitating schooling opportunities for children in Kenya and China through this program. Last two years' participants saw the stunning natural wonders, visited and offered service for a local community and understood global environmental issues. Exploration of the world is a complete learning process as it also tests one's physical and mental ability.
I remember what one of our participants, who had shared her experience about the Kenya program, had to say particularly on giving. She said: "Giving to the community is generally good as it almost involves sharing and the gift (like building the school house) provides the ground work for community development. Donation should be based on the motivation of the community for self-help."
The best gift to an individual, to my mind, would be the gift of opportunity. The best giver treats the recipient as one's true equal, so the gift aims at building up self-esteem, fosters pride and preserves dignity. True giving should be participatory. It should acknowledge and honor the efforts of those who receive.
Through this expedition, they want to demonstrate corporate social responsibility (CSR). They aim at arousing public awareness towards the issue by attending the coming International Travel Expo in June in Hong Kong. They will organize workshops for team building and will provide information about Malaysian Borneo. Students and travelers are welcome to visit Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center and learn about Asia's largest rainforest, which has astonishing landscapes, indigenous tribes and a rich biodiversity. As one of the world's largest oxygen-generating areas, rainforests of Borneo play a crucial role in combating climate change. Besides, the rainforest is the only natural habitat for the highly endangered orangutan. However, due to overlogging and land reuse, this glorious rainforest is fast shrinking.
Of course, Gunung Mulu National Park is an outstanding example of the world's geological history and a good example of on-going evolutionary process. Like many other UNESCO nature and culture heritage sites, Mulu meets the additional criteria for world heritage for its exceptional natural beauty. Mulu's concentration of caves, the geomorphic and structural characteristics with outstanding resource allow visitors a greater understanding of Earth's history. Many many years ago, new mountains pushed high above the earth's surface. They're rapidly eroded by heavy rains. Eroding rock produced grains of quartzite sand, which are carried by rivers from the mountains into the sea. Here it settled over time to form layers of sandstones. Again, the earth moved and its surface buckled and lifted, and so, the island of Borneo was formed.
Mulu has so much scenic values including the grand spectacle of millions of bats and swiftlets leaving and entering the caves. Also, the rainforest is worth seeing, especially the towering trees that block the sky with their dense canopy. Hong Kong residents must learn to appreciate the beauty and understand the responsibility as global citizens.
This expedition, of course, is not a holiday tour but for people who love nature and care for community.
The author is the marketing development director of