One Click Message to Save the Heart of Borneo

19 December 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia: WWF Heart of Borneo Global Initiative has launched a campaign via Facebook application titled ”Off-limits to unsustainable Development”. The purpose of the campaign is to surround the Heart of Borneo (HoB) with messages of support to preserve this precious natural resource and to keep this treasured place, off-limits to illegal logging, wildlife poachers, unsustainable land development and harmful pollutants.

Facebook users can type their messages of support on the application. Each message extends a virtual ‘off-limits’ ribbon a little further until eventually it circles the entire HoB which is approximately 12,000 km along the circumference of the area boundary.

The social media application is designed in three languages (Indonesian, Malay and English) displayed as a series of slides containing messages to keep the Heart of Borneo off-limits to unsustainable development.

Messages of support from the public will be presented to the three HoB governments: Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia at an upcoming international conference in 2013. The campaign was rolled out through social media networks to gain a wider audience.

Chris Greenwood, Global Communications Manager with the HoB Initiative, says now is the time to act and provide support. ”Now it is the turn of the public to get involved in supporting the HoB through this campaign and show the three governments that they are concerned and want the governments to continue to act to protect the rich biodiversity of this precious place.”

“We can save the Heart of Borneo from the threat of unsustainable development and let us all take action and support this campaign,” said Greenwood. .

The interactive campaign features Sir David Attenborough who has been a strong advocate of the HoB Initiative and the implementation of Green Economies across the world. He believes it is time for governments to take action and sustainably manage forests.

“Managing forests sustainably needs to become a universal political priority… the Heart of Borneo can be an example to the world of how this can be achieved,” Mr Attenborough said.

TV Presenter/Model and Activist, Nadya Hutagalung also a HoB supporter, says sustainable development is essential in the HoB area to implement environmentally sensitive water management and saving the forests for people, business and wildlife.

“We must protect the water catchment areas of the Heart of Borneo and let the rivers run free to support all the people and industries downstream that depend on the water,” said Ms Hutagalung.

Action must be taken now to address the rapid deforestation and loss of precious biodiversity and wildlife in Borneo.

One of Asia’s last great rainforests, the HoB includes some of the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, and is one of only two places in the world where endangered elephants, orangutans, rhinoceros and clouded leopards share the same territory.

To learn more about the social media campaign and show your support, enter your message on the online petition via the linkhttps://apps.facebook.com/savehob/

Ends

For further information on WWF’s HoB Initiative contact: Chris Greenwood, International Communications Manager, Heart of Borneo Initiative, WWF

Mobile: +60 128281214

E-mail: cgreenwood@wwf.org.my

Notes to editors

What is the Heart of Borneo (HoB)?

The Heart of Borneo covers more than 22 million hectares (220,000 km2) of equatorial rain forest across the countries of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia. One of Asia’s last great rainforests, it includes some of the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, and is one of only two places on earth where elephants, orangutans, rhinoceros and clouded leopards share the same territory. In the past 15 years, more than 500 new flora or fauna species have been discovered, at a rate of more than three per month.

Borneo’s cultural diversity is as distinct and varied as the island’s animal and plant life. In Kalimantan (Indonesia) alone, 142 different languages are believed still to be in use today. Many people depend directly on the forest for edible and medicinal plants; fish; meat; construction materials and water. As the headwaters of the island’s major rivers lie in Borneo’s central highlands, protection is critical to ensuring reliable clean water supplies to a largenumber of human settlements, and the thriving industries that have developed in coastal urban center.

The Heart of Borneo Declaration

In February 2007, the governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia signed the Heart of Borneo Declaration to protect an area of more than 220,000 square kilometres in the centre of the island and bordering all three countries. Together they emphasised the  fact that these tropical rainforests have strategic, global, national and local functions, not only for citizens of these three countries but for the global human race.

The Declaration is supported under important regional and international agreements such as Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).  For more information visit: www.panda.org/heartofborneo.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’snatural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit panda.org/news for latest news and media resources

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