Sunday, December 25, 2011

From the Heart of Borneo

AS we go into the holiday season, perhaps we should reflect on the gifts of Mother Nature.

Think back to Nov 12, 2011, when the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) started a campaign to increase familiarity and appreciation of Pade Adan (commonly known as Bario rice), as part of the three nation — Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia — transnational Heart of Borneo initiative.

The Heart of Borneo, first visualised in the early part of the 21st century, is a vision of the kaleidoscope of all the factors that make the mountainous spine running down the island of Borneo important. The total value of the components — land, water, air, biodiversity of living creatures, including man, is much greater than the individual — so much so that if one is lost, then all are likely to be dramatically negatively affected. This mountainous region acts as the heart and lungs of the island.

The fine-flavoured Pade Adan is the result of man, the farmers in the Krayan-Kelabit Highlands from Bario, Ba Kelalan, Long Semado, Long Pasiah and their counterparts in the Krayan valley of Kalimantan, understanding the natural resources of the highland plateaus and sustainably using them while working with the forces of nature.

The promotion of this indigenous product, in my view, symbolises the vision that WWF and its partners had with the inception of the Heart of Borneo initiative.

The Heart of Borneo aims to develop partnerships at all levels, from the grassroots to government administration, to ensure that effective management of the protected and productive forests and other land uses can be sustained.

This initiative is not about excluding man, but recognises that we are part of the environment. The development and promotion of ‘Green and Fair Products’ originating in the spine of Borneo can provide much needed economic input into the area through sustainable use of resources.

Pade Adan, of which there are three varieties, Adan Merah (red), Adan Putih (white) and Adan Hitam (black), is an example of a traditional product that can be grown through the sustainable use of resources. This high-value crop is recognised within Sarawak and consumers are willing to purchase it at a premium.

Penghulu George Sigar from Ba Kelalan, during the opening ceremony to promote Pade Adan, described the steps in producing this fine quality rice.

Traditional wet rice cultivation practices are largely organic as artificial fertilisers and pesticides are not normally used. The fields are made in the wide river valleys in the plateaus. The choice of location depends on the topography (the flatter the more desirable) and the availability of water.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: From the Heart of Borneo

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