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Lending a Helping Hand: Ecolodges Indonesia, Planting the Trees for the Planet to Breath and local communities to survive during the current crisis

Even though the economy worldwide has been slowing down or even frozen in some parts, but all our hearts do not stop. In a small part of this world, the team at Rimba Ecolodges is still trying so hard to survive and to protect wildlife and nature. It is definitely NOT an easy mission with or without this pandemic circumstance, but they are doing their best.

While all the lodges’ income has been wiped out completely with the expense of massive wages cuts up to 80% of their salary or stepping down to only part-time employment.

They have decided to immediately establish two more activities to try to obtain additional income – Agriculture and Conservation for 18 – 24 months plan. The main aim of these activities is to augment the current salaries of our staff undertaking self-help or conservation activities.

– To develop sustainable agriculture at the Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge where there are 4 hectares of good land for farming and the staff can produce food for local sale and to feed themselves. Growing rice in half a hectare, short term food, and production crops and a long-term strategy producing fruit trees in the 2 hectares of land.

Funds required 39,318,750 IDR 2,910 US$ 

– Tree Planting in the Tanjung Putting National Park from Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge Program Summary Continue their long-standing program with Tanjung Putting National Park (TPNP) and the NGO Karang Taruna based in Tanjung Harapan village. This to be phase 1 of an eighteen-month, planting program which will also act a monitor for poaching and illegal burning in the park. The first area will be 2 hectares at 1,000 trees/hectare.

Both parks mentioned in 1 above have had large tracts of their land destroyed by illegal fires and agriculture cutting down trees.  Fires occur every year. Government fire-fighting units are non-existent and, firefighting depends on ill equipped local people or the advent of the monsoons. In 2015, the TPNP lost a third of this 416,000 hectare park. by fires  (around 15,000 ha). This was a catastrophe with major losses in fauna and flora. We have a long way to go to repair this damage.                                                                                              (ii) In the TPNP, the dominant species is the orangutan who depend on trees for survival. If the orangutan become extinct, millions of species of fauna and flora become extinct also including seven other primate species. Similarly, in the WKNP the dominant species are the Sumatran Elephant, Rhino and Tiger with millions more of dependent species.                                                                                                                                                    (iii) By creating a significant employment opportunity as a tree planter, we are furthering the objectives of ELI – conservation by sustainable employment dependent on the

Funds required 20,250,000 IDR 1,500 US$ 

– Bird Guide Training and development of bird treks from Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge. Since the lodge is situated on the edge of a unique bird protected area which is under threat. The main aim of this lodge is to try and be a beacon of conservation in this vital area, which is also the water source for the port city of Labuan Bajo. They hope to train their staff, both on-site and on-line, in the importance of conservation and one method is to develop bird guides among the staff.

Funds require 22,550,000 IDR 1,670 US$

– Goat Production at Satwa Sumatra Ecolodge. This lodge is on the edge of one of the most important parks in Indonesia with Elephants, Rhinos,i and Tigers still wild in the area. It is in the company’s interest to generate an extra income to assist the wages of the staff to maintain this beacon of conservation in the area. Fourteen goats will be purchased for fattening for five months for resale at an optimum time. Such funds would be used to purchase more goats and thus develop a goat farm over time including breeding.

Funds required 16,425,000 IDR 1,215 US$

– Strengthening the ELI Central Office in Bali. The staff of the Central Office is vital for the continuation of the company Ecolodges Indonesia. They already sacrificed large amounts of their so that enough funds could be spread out among the rest of the staff in four lodges.  This program wishes to protect the health, nutrition, and enthusiasm of this vital, dedicated, and loyal group of people.

Funds are required monthly for the next fifteen months and they would like for small amounts to be dedicated monthly into a fund aiming to raise around Rp 4,000,000 per month (around AUD 420)

Funds required 60,000,000 IDR 4,440 US$

The main challenge over this period is to keep the lodges clean with good maintenance and ready for visitors at any time.

One of the most important results from donors, apart from stabilizing food security, is to know that they have their supports from friends overseas and resulting in improved morale.

Although most of the staff are still on part-time employment with up to 80% reduction in salary, the managers have utilized them effectively to keep all the lodges and gardens in good condition.

While they have some funds available for all these activities, but they still need your help to achieve the main objectives of keeping this vital conservation company alive for the future.

They are the only Company in Indonesia dedicated to the preservation of National Parks by creating sustainable jobs for local people.

A summary of the progress and success of these programs will be reported on social media (especially Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EcolodgesIndonesia/ and also in special reports to Donors. For donation, go through the website www.ecolodgesindonesia.com/conservation-foundation

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