Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In Search of Virgin Rainforest

two weekends ago, a few of us went in search of virgin rainforest, guided by some ex-separatist combatants, GAM (Free Aceh Movement). a harder task than it seems with all the illegal logging or rainforest burning going on. on saturday it rained so hard all afternoon and night. The rain was so intense, the river started to flood within half an hour (something that normally happens in a desert, not a jungle with high soil/ground saturation).

by the way, Singapore and Malaysia are many times choked in rainforest fire smoke to unhealthy levels blowing over from Sumatra (or Borneo if the prevailing winds reverse). Aceh, and most of Sumatra, is home to the Sumatran tiger, orangutan and even rhino.

our friend who arranged this trip, is a freelance writer for a few publications back in the states. he was interested in the logging effects in the rainforest and the use of ex-combatants in other roles, like trekking guides (the ones that guided us, were their first time).

Hiking up river

The ex-separatist combatants, our guides

The illegal loggers leave their mark

Rest of the photos are posted on Flickr.

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