WWF joined The Nature Conservancy and the Indonesian and US governments to sign a debt-for-nature swap agreement that will result in a new $28.5 million investment to help protect tropical forests in three districts on the Indonesian side of Borneo (Kalimantan).
This achievement is the result of two years of hard work and persistence by a joint US and Indonesia team. Special congratulations is due to our Conservation Finance team of Esteban Brenes and Eric Swanson, who provided superb guidance and unrelenting energy, and to the Heart of Borneo team here and in Indonesia, namely Ginny Ng, Adam Tomasek, and Wisnu Rusmantoro, as well as to the leadership and vision of WWF Indonesia’s Budi Wardhana and Nazir Foead.
Other parts of the WWF network also contributed signficantly. WWF-NL and WWF-Germany joined with us to co-invest $2M as WWF’s aggregate contribution and co-financing of this program.
The funds from this debt swap will address the threat of deforestation and help reduce carbon emissions in Indonesia. It will invest in improved land-use planning to direct development toward already degraded lands; in improved management of protected areas, and other critical measures to reduce forest destruction; and also in supporting “green” Indonesia travel initiatives, other economic development opportunities, and local communities. The swap will focus investment in three critical Districts, Kutai Barat and Berau in East Kalimantan and Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan province.
Notably, this swap also sets a major precedent, as it is the first debt swap under the U.S. Government’s Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) to have a major and explicit focus on averting climate change through tropical forest conservation.
Congratulations to all!
Sr. Vice President
World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US)
Asia Transpacific Journeys offers several trips to Indonesia and Borneo. In June, Asia Transpacific Journeys teams up with WWF for our Into the Heart of Borneo small group trip. Learn more about travel to Borneo by contacting a Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.
Asia Transpacific Journeys offers once-in-a-lifetime tours to Papua New Guinea, taking travelers to remote tribal villages, sing-sing celebrations and wildlife explorations. Although there is much to discover on land, travel to Papua New Guinea and you’ll find a wealth of incredible uninhabited islands some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world.
On True North’s Adventures in Paradise cruises, travelers are able to relax on a series of isolated deserted islands, such as the Lusancay Islands, that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and fishing. Travelers also have the opportunity to embark on thrilling helicopter flights to the Isurava Memorial on the Kokoda Track and then discover the wrecks of WWII ships, planes and submarines while snorkeling in the shallow waters of Kavieng.
The True North’s Adventures in Paradise cruise is a wonderful add-on to any of Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Small Group Trips to Papua New Guinea. For a traveler who wants to experience the land, the people and the sea of Papua New Guinea, there really is no better way to go.
Learn more about Asia Transpacific Journeys‘ trips to Papua New Guinea and True North cruises by speaking to a Papua New Guinea Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.
I have to say that our Australia trip was one of the best trips we’ve had. We were able to see so much in so little time. Every place we went to was different. We keep on saying to each other that Tom did a great job planning the itinerary. Everything went smoothly. Everyone was punctual.
We were quite skeptical about Tyroconnell Outback Retreat but were won over by the charm of the place and the hospitality of the family. It is sad to know that they are planning to sell the place but they are doing it to spend more time with their children. My husband really enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef and didn’t want to leave.
The only thing that we were disappointed with was the cancelled tour with the Aboriginal guide. We could have learned so much.
Extras that we did on our free days were – the Bridge Climb in Sydney (amazing), bi-plane over Fraser Island, helicopter ride at the Great Barrier Reef, the Sky rail and Railway tour in Cairns, climbed Ayers Rock, and the Sound of Silence dinner at Ayers Rock (I was sitting between two heaters and didn’t even need a jacket!)
We were quite shocked by how expensive everything was. We spent a lot of money there, but I can’t think of a better way of celebrating my 40th. Thank you so much for the bottle of champagne that was sent to our hotel room. We met a lot of great people that we would keep in touch with. We will definitely return to Australia with our kids in the future. But we would like to travel to Vietnam with them first, probably in 3 years. Thank you so much for putting together an amazing trip.
San Ramon, CA
Theresa and her husband embarked on an Insider’s Australia Custom Journey which was arranged by Travel Specialist, Tom Lastick. This was their second trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys, and we look forward to planning more adventures for their family in the future.
Asia Transpacific Journeys’ trips to Australia visit iconic sights for which Australia is justifiably famous, but also offers travel to remote areas of Australia that many travelers do not get the chance to experience. A trip to these off-the-beaten-path regions can turn the average Australia travel experience from something ordinary into something extraordinary.
The west coast of Australia is covered with sparkling white beaches and crystal clear blue waters perfect for snorkeling, exploring or relaxing. From the islands and gorges of The Kimberley, to Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Reef, the area is a vacationer’s paradise.
After spending time in Sydney, Cairns and at the Great Barrier Reef, take a cruise on the luxurious Australian yacht, True North. The West Coast Explorer cruise is the perfect way to round out your Australia vacation and see everything that this wild and beautiful land has to offer. True North cruises provide an ideal opportunity to get out of the cities and often crowded tourist areas and experience the Australian wilderness at its best. It’s the perfect add-on for any of Asia Transpacific Journeys’ custom trips to Australia.
Learn more about Asia Transpacific Journeys‘ trips to Australia and True North cruises by speaking to an Australia Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.
We just returned from our trip to Indonesia which was an absolutely terrific experience for the entire family. We so appreciate all of your guidance and collaboration together with our travel agent Roselyne at WorldView Travel. I especially wanted to point out that the guides Komang Wardiapa in Bali and Subur on Sulawesi were outstanding in every way – professional, knowledgeable, sensitive to Western needs and limitations and a pleasure to get to know. Amertha and Jabeki were a dream and we miss the kind caretakers Made and Ketut at our little Bingin hide-away.
The itinerary and accommodations were perfect with a couple of tweaks.
The Pare Pare hotel was very run down. Although the long stretch from Makasar to Toraja begs to be broken up, given the downturn in tourism and lack of proper accommodations, you really have to grin-and-bear the drive since there is neither much to see nor a decent place to stay on the way north to the heart of Tana Toraja. Luckily everyone was a good sport and we thought of this ‘simple’ hotel as part of the adventure.
Overall, it was a once-in-a-lifetime, fabulous experience enjoyed by all of us.
So again, many thanks and best regards,
Solana Beach, CA
Fiona traveled to Indonesia with a custom Bali vacation package which was arranged for her by Travel Specialist, Jarrod Hobson. This is Fiona’s first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys. We hope to see more of her in the future.
Thanks to its rich history and nature, Japan has already been recognized as a country with many UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with 14 designated destinations. An additional two locations came into the international spotlight when they were added to the list this June.
Hiraizumi, a Northern Metropolis
Hiraizumi may seem like just one of the many historic temple towns, but founded in the 12th century, this was the political and commercial center of Japan’s northern region. This time, UNESCO recognized the legacy of the Fujiwara family.
The Fujiwara’s rivaled the capitol in Kyoto and established a northern political and cultural power hub with the paramount art and architectural techniques of that time, and the cultural and historic significance and appreciation of the remaining pieces. The most significant sign of the past political power in Hiraizumi is Chusonji-Temple, an elaborated structure in such a rich design from its heyday. Konjikido, literally translated as Golden Hall, has fortunately been preserved – because among all the magnificent constructions of a 20-year project, it is the only original structure to survive fires and wars. Protected inside a later-constructed concrete pavilion, Konjikido is a must-see. The structure is covered with gold leaf inside and out and is full of Buddhism statues in the alter – which portray the Fujiwara Lord’s aspiration for Buddhism and top-quality designs.
Although Hiraizumi is located in the northeast region of Japan, fortunately the March earthquake didn’t affect the area at all. The international attention this region has received due to the earthquake has become a great momentum for the region’s tourism recovery. Along with the Shirakami Mountain Range that was designated as a world heritage site in 1993, Hiraizumi has become one of the highlights of the northern Japan travel.
Tokyo’s Hidden Beaches, the Ogasawara
The Ogasawara Islands, also known as The Bonin Islands, is an archipelago of over 30 small subtropical islands located 1,000km (620 miles) directly south of Tokyo. UNESCO found these hidden islands under Tokyo’s municipality as a natural sanctuary for a unique ecosystem. Consisting of over 30 tiny islands, including well-known Iwojima, the Ogasawara Islands cherish very lightly worn jungles and infinitely blue beaches. The islands create a perfect environment for a very rich ecosystem which includes: one-of-a-kind mammals, over 400 native plants and several ocean species that create one of the world’s rarest scuba diving spots. Ogasawara is nicknamed the Oriental Galapagos.
As the Ogasawara becomes more well-known among outdoor lovers, there have been talks on building an airport to improve the weekly ferry shuttle between Tokyo’s downtown port and Chichi-jima Island, the most populated among the Ogasawara. However, the high vulnerability of the area’s untouched, unique ocean life and ecosystem keeps the islands airport free. It also makes the islands’ wealth of nature even more attractive – as a hidden gem of Japan.
Wanting to experience the ancient wonders of Japan for yourself? Learn more about small group Japan tours or custom travel to Japan organized by our Asia Travel Specialists. Visit Asia Transpacific Journeys online or call 800-642-2742 for more information.
Dear Colleagues, Clients and Friends,
As the Founder and President of Asia Transpacific Journeys, I wanted to personally announce that we have recently been named a Top 10 Tour Operator on the 2011 World’s Best list by the readers of Travel + Leisure. Asia Transpacific Journeys is the only company specializing in Asia to win that coveted award.
The honor is particularly gratifying for being democratic in nature—as you may or may not know, winners are not picked by an editor, but rather determined by people who have actually traveled with us. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our travelers and industry colleagues for their vote.
This acknowledgement is not just a feather in our cap. It is an inspiration to us, and a challenge to deliver on the promise of extraordinary travel to Asia on into the future.
We look forward to creating many more journeys with you.