My Trip to Borneo: Why the Rainforest is Depleting

Malaysia: the 31st country I’ve had the privilege to travel in, has been a challenging one. On an extended visa run during our Momentom Indonesia Residency I did a decided to do a deep dive into Borneo to see some of the last orang utans in the wild, it’s pretty clear why they are being wiped out along with the majority of the rainforest and life on the World’s 3rd largest island: cheap palm oil. ⠀ Flying from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan all you see are rows of palms trees or cleared rainforest (to plant more palm trees) - as far as the eye can see. Driving ‘into the jungle’ between the Sepilok Orang utan Rehabilitation Centre (amazing organization!) and the Sepilok Forest Lodge consisted of the endless monocrop, void of life. Even the thin areas of protected rainforest, you could see the palm oil plantations on the periphery. ⠀

So, we use palm oil in EVERYTHING - all over the world. Food, cosmetics, biofuel, detergents, plastics... and yes, it’s supposed to be one of the ‘healthier’ options for vegetable oil and faster and more efficient growing crops (‘reducing the usage of land’). But the reality is that it can’t sustain anything other than cheap junk food. It takes all the nutrients out of the ground, provides no food or canopy for other animals, treetops can’t be used for bird perch’s with its spikes, and currently the only living thing that can survive the swath of land it occupies? Cockroaches. Yum. Thank god for Doritos right? ⠀ Even the orang utans know how awful this plague is. Our closest cousins (97% shared genes, and name that translates to ‘man of the forest’) have been trying to fight back against this greed by hitting the bulldozers and trying to uproot new palms. Hence some oil plantations offering a reward for each monkey paw traded in. ⠀ Let’s share the reality of what keeps our cheap addictions fuelled by being mindful of ingredients of the things we consume and support amazing projects and initiatives that help protect the amazing biodiversity of our incredible planet and fellow relatives that also call this world home. *Public service announcement over* ️⠀

Big love from Malaysia! ⠀

'Rolling out the green carpet' aka destroying any sustenance of life via a monocrop. Don't believe all the propaganda put out by the Malaysian Palm Oil Corporations... But my Balinese cousin Jade Hyde and I did have a fun week trekking through northern Borneo.

We are already nearing the end of our Momentom Residency in Sumbawa, Indonesia and I'll continue to put out some incredible content and drop ins via our Momentom Podcast with some of our incredible guest teachers including Rod Cooper - founder of The Movement Collective. In our discussion we dive into the value of inspiring play in all aspects of entrepreneurship, the definition of community and how to create a company culture - which my main takeaway was the importance of creating leaders within your company and management to inspire true culture and loyalty. Tune in below or stream / download for free via iTunes Podcasts

Thank you again for continuing to support my projects and sharing the content out to the world if it resonates with you. Let's keep sharing ideas worth spreading through lives worth journaling. Sending big love from Sumbawa Tu amigo, -John PS here's an epic photo taken by my good friend and incredible ocean conservationist Shawn Heinricks who joined our Residency this last month. Sunset dragon staff flow jams!

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