Monday, 18 March 2013

Phase 1 Venturer account of Imbak Canyon

Phase 1 Alpha 5, Imbak Canyon - a Venturers account

by Alpha 5

From the very first moment that our alpha group set foot in Imbak Canyon we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the primary, class 1 rainforest. Class 1 rainforests are basically a rainforest where there is no hunting, logging, cutting down trees or removal of plants and animals from the rainforest.  Right on the doorstep of our make shift camp was the breathtaking Imbak Falls which gave us an insight into the sheer power of nature.

Sheer power of the Alpha 5 boys
...And the girls

The Rangers play a vital role in protecting the rainforest and teaching the people like us about the importance of conserving the rainforest . We got taught first hand about the local wildlife tracks, animal calls and the flora and fauna that inhabit the rainforest. As rainforests are the lungs of the world, deforestation causes the same effect of a heavy smoker but on a larger scale. The protection of Imbak Canyon reduces the effect of global warming and thinning of the ozone layer. If we lose Imbak Canyon to deforestation, we not only lose a forest but also the large biodiversity of flora and fauna  of Borneo. The loss of Imbak Canyon would cause this nation (Malaysia) to be unable to perform an effective reforestation programme towards the other affected rain forests in this country as Imbak serves as a feedback for the tropical rainforest. Furthermore, this ancient tropical rainforest provides an economic source to the state of Sabah and as it is a popular destination for nature lovers losing Imbak would give an economic set back to this state. This in turn would impact upon the local communities that rely on job opportunities provided by the eco-tourism in Imbak Canyon.

On route to Imbak we were shocked to see the expanse of palm oil plantations along the roadside - even more so as we learnt that only eight years ago it was a thriving ancient rainforest. It takes years to grow but seconds to destroy. It really opened our eyes to the complex issue that palm oil has caused in Malaysia and the importance of sustainable agriculture to ensure the equilibrium meets the societal demands and the welfare of the local communities.

After a heavy debate we came to the conclusion that global awareness is key in combating this issue and suggest that each party involved with the palm oil industry should take responsibility by promoting and practicing sustainable agriculture. By promoting an alternative industry such as eco-tourism, we feel that it may reduce the reliance towards the palm oil industry and will preserve the natural rain forests whilst still boosting the quality of living in the local community.

We had a really amazing time at Imbak, surrounded by beautiful rainforest and experiencing first hand the value of such a unique and awe inspiring ecosystem. We fell in love with nature and made the best of the time we had there as an amazingly well-synced team. Everyone was so comfortable with one another and we felt like a family, which made all the difference in the world! To the next team who'll be going out for phase 2 we wish you all the best and don't forget to enjoy yourselves because Imbak Canyon has so much to offer! We would like to say a big thank you to our PMs - Ali, Rachel and John as they were absolutely fantastic, the best PMs ever. We will miss Imbak for many reasons and we hope this pristine primary rainforest never changes and that the rainforest remains, not only for future research, study and conservation efforts, but also so that others can be as lucky as we were in experiencing the wonders of Imbak.

The Alpha 5 team

During phase one the first group made camp improvements - sorting the kitchen, making a kitchen table, pebble path, fire pit and to make the camp more homely;  went on treks; saw civets and squirrels and heard gibbons, hornbills and cicadas; and described the rangers as amazing people and their camp was brilliant as the group enjoyed karaoke, badminton, a burger quiz and a dinner of risotto - a welcome change from rations. As I (Jo) am lucky enough to be deploying with the new Alpha 5 I am really looking forward to experiencing all that Imbak has to offer and updating you on the work they are involved with.


mariam said...

Daniel Razlan (Alpha 5)

Just thought i would update you on the football scores... Spurs lost at home to fulham 1-0!! ;) Chelsea beat West Ham 2-0.. So they are back in 3rd. We are 4 points behind spurs and have a game in hand :))
Just saw pics of the last Phase in Imbak Canyon ... Lovely!! Hope the weather is good for you and you manage to do everything..
Make the most of your time will be home before you know it! And missing everything Raleigh!
Stay safe. Missing you lots.
Mummy xxxxx
The kittens are growing up too fast...naughty too! The fat cat is trying to be friendly. The other 2 are not bothered!

Anonymous said...

Alex Williams,
Hi Alex.Well I think the hair looks gr8!Infact i've recommended your dad do the same.Now that would be a sight for sore eyes.We had thick snow here yesterday.I believe mum has done out your bedroom. I went with her to choose the bedding etc.I know you'll love the pink wallpaper.And the frilly duvet cover is to die for!Hope you continue to have fun,off now to do a spot of mountain walking/rock climbing with Mum.Don't worry...she has been practising on the climbing wall at the sports village since you went!
Love Deb.x x

jose van den Hurk said...

Voor nicky blom
Lieve lieve schat, ik zag een foto van je groep met een hele blije Nin. Dat ziet er goed uit. Volgens mij gaat het geweldig met je.
Wat ben je stoer wijffie en wat zul je veel leren.
Ik hoop dat ik je snel weer zal spreken want ik mis je heel erg.
Lieve schat, dikke kus, hou van jou en mis je.

jose van den Hurk said...

Voor nicky blom

Ik heb al paar keer geprobeerd iets te posten maar weet niet of het lukt.
Ik zag een foto van je groep met een hele blije Nin. Dat is fijn om te zien. Het gaat volgens mij heel goed. Vind je het nog steeds zo fijn?
Ik hoopvdat we lekaar snel weer eens spreken want ik mis je heel erg.
Lieve Nin, ik hou van jou en mis je. Dikke kus xxxx mamsie

Julie and Andy Twisleton said...

Hi Lucy!
Imbak Canyon looks amazing with such a lot to see and experience and so glad you had a great time with the rest of Alpha 5, they look such a brilliant group. Sounds like you got off lightly with the leeches, maybe not so good with the mozzies though! It's great seeing what you're up to, just enjoy it all!
Lots of love
Mum & Dad xxxx

Mel and Dan said...

Message for Davin Chandra (Alpha 2)

Hi Davin! Hope you're well and enjoying Raleigh 'luxury' in Bulud Batu. We miss you lots but are very proud of you! Enjoy every moment of your amazing adventure because the time will go by so quickly! Make the most of the lovely sunshine in Borneo...we have had a mixture of snow and rain with more to come!!

A bit of sports news...Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea and they are now 3rd in the table, so by the time you get home they may be top ;-) In F1, Kimi Raikkonen won the 1st race for Lotus so it looks like it'll be an exciting and open season.

Looking forward to hearing from you at changeover. All the family, especially your grandparents, send their love.
Have a fantastic time! Stay safe. Love you loads, Mum & Dad xxx

Pap said...

To Nicky Blom

He Nin,

Midden in het regenwoud, het ziet er ongelooflijk uit. Ik kan op de fotootjes moeilijk zien wie wie is, maar volgens mij sta jij steeds met je armen te zwaaien.

Geniet er van verder en pas op voor de spinnenmansen.

Love you

Out and About Mum said...

For Max Sheldon Alpha 7
Dear Max,
Love the new photos of your time at Imbak Canyon especially the ones of the whole team doing silly poses in front of the falls. That must seem a long time ago now as I guess you're trekking through fabulous jungle as I write, hopefully with your PADI certificate tucked firmly in your rucksack. I've looked at previous trek postings and if you're on your way to Long Pasia then you're having a life-changing time.
All our love and loads of hugs Mum, Dad and the furry, feathery Gang
P.S I thought you'd like to know that John has been following your Raleigh adventures on his i-pad :)
P.P.S There's snow forecast here for tomorrow :(