Today BRAINetwork celebrates Earth Day 2014 in the Belum-Temengor Rainforest Complex, the oldest rainforest in the world. The BRAINetwork Team of Fakhru, Gerard and Ridhuwan were in Air Banun together with the Orang Asal. The Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli and also the Pulau Banding Foundation were part of the celebrations. The celebrations are part of our FIRST MILE PROJECT ecovillage initiative. Read about it HERE.
Many activities were carried out but these are the first pictures to be received by BRAINetwork, given that the Internet access is rather slow and limited from the nearest town of Grik. It was also a long day for our BRAINetwork Team and we will have more pictures in a future blog. Meanwhile, these are the pictures out of Air Banun, taken this morning.
Pak Uda and his team of Orang Asal Volunteers had previously cleared some land for planting various quick growing crops. For as long as he can remember, over the past 10 years, they have not been growing any crops because of the elephants and the wild boar.Taking a page from the success stories coming out of Africa, we have managed to convince Pak Uda to set up an experimental area for cultivation where we will be using various techniques that have proven to be successful in keeping away the wild boar and elephants. This has never been tried before in Malaysia. This is the first time and today on Earth Day, BRAINetwork and the Orang Asal are taking the first steps in planting bananas, yam, sweet potatoes, pineapple and corn. If this works, it will mean a significant step forward in sustainable farming for the Orang Asal in this area. It will mean a step forward towards a healthier life living off the land , rather than relying on irregular handouts and whatever can be foraged from the rainforests.
Today, Earth Day 22 April 2014, marks the first step toward a sustainable future.