How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
On all OO trips we employ locals to carry out practically ever service provided. On occasion we will send an Australian Guide to assist. We accommodate people in mostly family run guest houses or hotels, employ local boat owners and drivers, employ guides and porters from the area we operate. A large portion of our expedition fees go directly to local oragnisations. Over the last 2 years alone we have donated $70,000 to various charities chartered to protect Orangutans such as BOS, OFI etc. This year in conjunction with the Australian Orangutan Project we will raise $212000 for these organisations through our tours. These organisations are battling the large Palm Oil companies for space in the minds of not only Indonesia residents but also their politicians. We hope through our efforts that they will be able to expand their operations to protect more forest and rehabilitate more Orangutans at the same time add pressure on Politicians and Law Enforcers to stop the expanding pressure of deforestation. Each expedition raises $110 towards Safeguard (a ranger patrol operation in Sumatra to stamp out illegal logging) and to the AOP Adopting an Orangutan.
All our expeditions adhere to a "Take In Take Out" policy. What goes in the jungle comes out of the jungle. This at present does not apply to human waste but we are looking at options for this. We also ban all use of Palm Oil in cooking on our expeditions. We try to use eco-friendly lodges such as Rimba Lodge in Tanjang Puting National Park, though this is not always possible. We have prepared wildlife viewing guidelines, with the very valuable expert advice of Leif Cocks from the AOP, for issue to our Visitors to the all Bornean and Sumatran Eco-tourism Sites, to help inform them about their most important responsibilities during their expeditions. We request that you read these carefully and understand the appropriate behaviour that is needed during your time in Indonesia and Malaysia. Your cooperation in adhering to these guidelines will ensure the well-being of the animals, their environment and for yourselves, and so help to maintain a stable and long term viable tourism facility for all.
Our expeditions provide a great economic benefit to local people. For example in Tanjung Puting we have teamed up with a local family to help them with their boat operations and services. OO has provided art work and funds to repaint 3 entire boats, provided funds to purchase life vests as well as a library of books relevant to Orangutans. We will add a life boat and a toilet system that can be emptied back in town not into the jungle. Since then we have noticed other boats doing the same, raising the level of service to customers which will attract more much needed capital to tourism in the area. In Palangkaraya we take visitors to a Dayak Longhouse and stay the night in the village at the invitation of the Kepala desar. Our group sizes are quite small from 2 to 10 people and as such the impact on these villages is not huge. As stated previously, our focus is Orangutans. However we feel that local people can be helped by providing them with capital to improve their services for tourists. This not only benefits OO but all tourists that come to the area.