tanjung puting, kalimantan, orangutans, foundation, borneo, visiting, tourism, tours (3)

Announcing an exciting new project!


What is sustainable travel?

It was with a lot of pleasure I read some news today about the way the Indonesian government is regulating the palm oil industry in the country. It’s an issue that has stayed with me ever since my trip to the Indonesian part of Borneo (Kalimantan) late last year.

As orangutans, supposedly the closest relative to humans, climbed in trees around me in the jungle, someone explained to me how the animals were under threat because their habitat was being destroyed for palm oil plantations. To try to keep up with the growing global demand for palm oil, local farmers and large international national companies were willing to kill off one of the most beautiful and friendly species in the world.

tanjung puting, kalimantan, orangutans, foundation, borneo, visiting, tourism, tours (8)

The Indonesian government now appears to have strengthened the regulations to keep virgin rainforest off limits to the palm oil industry and be more proactive in its enforcement of the rules. While it may not be a perfect solution from an environmental point of view, it shows an important attitude from the authorities that will filter down through the community.

One of the things that I remember clearly from that trip was sitting on the deck of a wooden boat, gliding slowly down the river on our way back from an orangutan care camp, and a guide explaining to me how finally the local people were realising that there might actually be a more sustainable income in protecting the orangutans than destroying their homes for farming.

Pyu city Sri Kestra, Pyay, Myanmar, Burma, UNESCO World Heritage in Myanmar

As the ideology of sustainable travel expands, I see this as one of the most important aspects: How can local people benefit from a situation that also respects and protects the local environment or culture? How can tourism be a force for good rather than the vehicle which destroys ecosystems and indigenous history?

And so, with this in mind, I am thrilled today to announce that I am part of a new ecotourism and sustainable travel group called EcoAdventure Media!

Ecoadventure Media

The collective is made up of the people behind 13 of the most interesting travel blogs out there – but, as they say, the whole is much bigger than the sum of its parts. Everyone involved in this new venture is more than just a travel blogger and this is in fact a collection of seasoned media and travel experts. There are print journalists, TV reporters, magazine editors, PR specialists, educators, a travel agent, a zoologist and a sustainability consultant.

Let me quickly introduce them all to you:

One of the most significant ideas is that these people, together, help bridge the gap between new and traditional media – and with purpose.

The purpose is to help highlight the growth in ecotourism and sustainable travel and, most importantly, help you as a traveller get the information you need to make decisions when planning a trip. In some ways, EcoAdventure Media will be the conduit between you and the destinations or organisations you want to know about!

chi phat, ecotourism, cambodia trekking, cambodian landscape

If you’re a regular reader of my site, you’ll know that understanding local culture and finding sustainable experiences beyond the usual tourist sites are things that I’m passionate about. I’m very excited to be bringing you more of those stories on Time Travel Turtle and also collaborating with so many awesome media professionals to bring you even deeper coverage on many of these issues.

turtles, uruguay, karumbe, la coronilla, conservation, cerro verde

Stay tuned for lots more news soon about our upcoming EcoAdventure Media projects!

  • lisa joy | Jun 1, 2013 at 4:40 am


    This makes me happy. A great way for me to find other cool readings.

    I approve.


    • Michael Turtle | Jun 4, 2013 at 3:48 am

      Thanks, Lisa! I’m always on the lookout for ways to make you happy 🙂
      Hope you’re well!

  • Laura @Travelocafe | Jun 2, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I wish you all the best with this great new project.
    Laura @Travelocafe recently posted..Mind-free Holidays in the World’s Most Unusual HotelsMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jun 4, 2013 at 3:55 am

      Thanks so much, Laura. I’m really excited about being able to showcase some great things happening in the sustainable tourism sphere.

  • John | Jun 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Government regulation is a start, but the problems created by the incorporation of palm oil in so many varied products will not be ended by the Indonesian Government. The best approach as a consumer is to try to avoid products containing palm oil. The Belgian Government is proposing putting a health warning on products containing it, as apparently the fats are not good for the human body.
    Protecting orang-utans would probably generate more income than the palm oil plantations that replace their habitat. The same can be said of many endangered species; from sharks to tigers.
    Great to see sustainable travel coming out of its niche at the corner of blogging.
    John recently posted..Travel jargon demystifiedMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jun 4, 2013 at 3:59 am

      Really good points, John. Of course addressing demand is a key issue here. We can’t simply blame the Indonesian farmers (or the government) because if there’s global demand for palm oil then it has to come from somewhere! Consumers have a huge role to play in this by decreasing consumption.

  • T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries | Jun 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Grats to everyone involved. And keep up the good work!
    T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries recently posted..Comment on Rich Man, Poor Man – The Illusion of Wealth by T.W. AndersonMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jun 23, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Thanks, mate. Appreciate it!

  • Jennifer | Jun 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Congratulations on a great new venture! I look forward to more tips about how sustainable tourism. It’s something we also try to be really conscience of when we travel as well. We like to see our money stay with the community and help support local people.
    Jennifer recently posted..Zip Line Adventure in AntiguaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Jun 23, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Yeah, I think it’s becoming more and more important as tourism increases. It’s too easy for mass travel to have a negative effect on destinations and the more that can be done to protect places and people, the better.

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