It might be greatest identified all over the world for the fabulous wealth of its head of state, the Sultan of Brunei. However the tiny nation of Brunei Darussalam, which occupies a small portion of the island of Borneo, is rapidly creating a status as a centre of ecotourism.
Brunei rainforest attracts ecotourists. Photograph by: Luca Anasta/500px
It has historically had a low variety of worldwide guests however noticed an almost 20% enhance in customer numbers in 2017 – a lot of them attracted by its famously pristine rainforests.
In Ulu Temburong Nationwide Park, Leslie Chang runs the Sumbiling Eco Village the place guests can discover themselves deep within the wild only a comparatively brief drive from the bustling capital metropolis of Bandar Seri Begawan. “In Brunei, we’re very fortunate,” stated Leslie. “Seventy per cent of the land is pristine rainforest and we’ve very pleasant individuals and a really secure and peaceable place to go to. The federal government and the Sultan are very desirous about eco-tourism, and never mass seaside celebration sort tourism. From the capital, you might be within the rainforest inside two hours. You may simply go for a day journey though we encourage individuals to remain on just a few nights.”
Ecotourism on the rise in Brunei. Photograph by: Maurice Spee
The forest teems with wildlife, particularly butterflies and naturally the island’s most well-known species … the proboscis monkey. Leslie Chiang arrange his enterprise ten years in the past and has watched as Brunei and the native Iban individuals have embraced eco-tourism. “The target was to offer jobs for them as a result of they stay fairly distant from town,” he stated. “They’re lower off considerably though Brunei is kind of small. There weren’t that many roles for them to do. They love to speak and share with guests and it has turn into a really fruitful venture of community-based tourism. They’re superb with the rainforest, they use it in a really sustainable manner.”
Ecotourism creates native employment in Brunei. Photograph by: Maurice Spee
The native individuals solely ever hunted for meals, by no means for sport, however lately even that searching has been curtailed as they’ve more and more recognised the worth of conserving nature.
“The younger individuals develop up and turn into guides,” stated Leslie. “They know the place very nicely and our company have good interplay with them. We make use of 100% domestically.”
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