Monday, October 4, 2010

Review of Guidebook to Gunung Leuser National Park

Retrieved from Taiwan High Speed Rail website

The first chapter of the Guidebook is to introduce the biodiversity of the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) and the Leuser Ecosystem (LE) whose distribution is as twice the size as GLNP and also the threats to them. What I really learn from this chapter is that deforestation due to illegal logging, biofuel producing and infrastructure development will definitely result in vanishing species and carbon emission following with global warming.

The main focus on second chapter is orangutan, as the tree-dwelling mammal and one of the four great apes, chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo and orangutan, especially on Sumatran Orangutan. People in Taiwan are more aware of chimpanzee owing to Jane Goodall who works as chimps' advocate for 50 years and her world fame. Compared to Chimps' look and social behaviour, Orangutan is more lovely and less cruel and only exists in Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia, where is closer to Taiwan than Africa in geographically. As a flag spices and ambassador of rainforest, to protect orangutan means the same thing of protecting less known plants and animals supporting the ecosystem as well. It implies if people in Taiwan could also contribute to conserve the orangutan that we're contributing to fight against global warming.

High speed Railway (HSR) in Taiwan had published a series of "Thank You" ads on the stage boards posted pictures of endangered species like polar bears, penguin, albatross and orangutan raising hands or wings to pose a greeting gesture on the front head like saying "Thank you". The captions means thank you for taking HSR to reduce 75% carbon of every passenger compared to regular car taking. My question is how comes to the conclusion referring to HSR taking is beneficial to reduce carbon emission? For more passenger capacity with more efficient fuel consuming? It is a very good chance to use this topic to educate people what is orangutan, carbon emission and the relationship between them.

This book entitles as "Guidebook to GLNP" and tries to reveal the biodiversity of rainforest and further promotes ecotourism in Bukit Lawang, where we could observe some semi-wild orangutans in feeding sites, reaching the sustainable development of local community. Through the 3 to 5th and 7th chapters, tourists can have an
understanding of the benefits of ecotourism but also the possible negative aspects,
such as disease transmission between human and orangutan.

From the 6th chapter, people can know more about the flora and fauna in GLNP. It is pity that every time I visit to GLNP, I always view the orangutan, probably next time I could also try boat trek, explore corpse flower, and see if I can witness the presence of rhinos and gibbons in the forest. :)

Thanks to Helen Buckland who is SOS UK Director and had made a valuable revision for this article.

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