Ecotourism in Northern Sumatra | Indonesia Discoveries | World Nomads


– [Narrating] There is one
place left in the world where orangutans, tigers, rhinos,
and elephants exist together in the wild. That place is the Leuser
Ecosystem here in Sumatra. Even though this area
is technically protected by the government, it’s
still threatened by poachers and palm oil plantations. But there is a growing
community of local people who are working hard to raise awareness through another type of
industry, ecotourism. (bright music) My first point of contact was Rahman. He really lives and breathes the jungle, and boy can he sing. – Jungle trek, Jungle
trek, in Bwakila one. See the monkey, see the
bird, see orangutan. – On the first day, we went
for a trek in the jungle. – Sorry darling. See the teeth in the front? You put the head down. – Into the wound?
– Into the cut – They bite you in the last of their life, and stitch your cut. – So it’s like homemade stitches? – Yes
– That’s crazy – But one distinct thing
that he did tell me about were magic mushrooms. – We follow elephant footprint. They have a poo in there
and grow the mushroom. When you get this mushroom, (smacks) It’s awesome to get magic mushroom. – Have you had magic mushrooms before – I’ve had them before, but
I’ve not often used them. If I see anything like a stream,
or maybe a root like that, Snake Snake!! (laughs)
All the time like that, yeah. You want something? – Oh yeah.
Yeah, over there. (gasps) That’s so cute. – This is thomas leaf monkey. – That’s fantastic. Oh my God. That’s beautiful. The next morning, he said
that the best time to spot an orangutan is to get there
very early in the morning, and within five minutes,
we had spotted one. They were up in their nests. They just decided to come down. How old is the mother? – The mother, right now,
is like 32 years old. – 32 years?
– Yeah. Orangutan can be like human. – I’m just really awestruck. That I get to be so close and
personal with one of the most endangered species in the world. I’ve got Rahman with me, so
he’s keeping me safe. (chuckles) – Don’t worry I try as long I can. – But the home of these
gorgeous guys is seriously under threat from land
clearing for mining, logging, and palm oil production. – The money is more good,
but for the ecosystem, it’s not good. They will change the climate. They will make more global warming. Also they are use a lot of
water, around 30 liters per day. – So Rahman, these are
palm oil tree fruits? – Yep
– So he’s collected them. What is he going to do with them now? – [Roman] From the
plantation, they chop down and they bring down to
here, and they made a kilo. And how many kilos, Bob and
Lupe both belong to this. – So he’s packing the truck
to sell it to the factory, and so he’s measuring
out how many kilos of palm oil tree fruits he’s got. – For oil.
– Yep margarine, oil, butter. – And some people told
me this also go cosmetic. – Despite the devastating
environmental damage, palm oil plantations keep growing, but they could be a
solution that both helps the local economy and
protects the environment. (chimes) We went to an eco lodge
where we met Darwin. – Our place is unique
here, and I feel this amazing place, like heaven. Building ecotourism is not so easy. Especially but the knowledge. How to make a plane, how
to protecting the reefer. Many people will bring
knowledge to our people here. To make more better. – This community at the
moment, relies on ecotourism for the income, and if
travelers don’t come, then people will just go
back to hunting and poaching because they need money. But if they see that
people want to bring money, and want to help and they want to educate, I think that makes a difference. – [Jo] My lasting impression
of this place is how well all these people have come together and have been able to
accomplish something, which is conservation. There’s a really good
balance between ecotourism, conservation, and responsible traveling. That’s been really
inspiring for me to see.

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