Did you know that there are two Italians who have decided to give their contribution to the protection of Indonesian forests?
Oh no, did not you know that?
Well, no problem because I’m one of the two and I’m telling you a little about the project we have in mind.
The first time I visited Indonesia was in 2012, right after a wonderful life experience and personal growth down there where many young Italians go for dreams and adventure: yes, you understand, Australia, the land of kangaroos.
And it was there for the first time that I came into contact with wild nature, immense open spaces and much more. All that nature in Europe is now confined within small national parks that are only a distant testimony of the times that were.
But the Australian society is tough, it is based on economy, work, money, in some ways reminds Italy of the post-war or the west-american travel of the last century; considers Western Australia with its 2 million inhabitants have three times the UK, which alone hosts 65 million inhabitants.
Know the proportions, it’s easy to understand that Australia is a land rich in economic opportunities.
Faced with this race towards gold, the impact with Indonesia and its humanity was probably much stronger.
Love was at first glance, a disruptive humanity associated with one of the highest biodiversity on the planet.
Whale sharks, oranges, apes with proboscis, tigers, Indonesian flora and fauna have few rivals in the world, probably the only Amazon.
It was in this context that I started exploring the territory.
Starting from the tourist destination par excellence, Bali, I explored Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi and a myriad of small islands that I find difficult to remember one by one.
If you know Indonesia, you know that here you can still find places away from mass tourism, a city where you will be the only western that will attract the attentions of the locals.
And during one of these trips I came to Bukit Lawang, a small outpost on the island of Sumatra, a last human contact before the forest, orangutan house, tigers, and more.
And it was in Bukit Lawang that I received the first of many stomach fists capable of taking the breath even to the strongest.
And the fist came from a chatter with a forest guard and panels on the visitors’ center: the oranges, our cousins of the forest, are disappearing for the sake of human greed.
From hundreds of thousands of specimens, only a few thousand people remain in Sumatra alone threatened by the continued expansion of the already well-known oil palm plantations.
And all this is borne out by human injustice, local people see little of the billion-dollar profits of the crops, making the slave laborers underdeveloped.
That first encounter with the reality of the orangutus struck me and remained within me, that latent sense of impotence ate me inside.
And he still does.
But what I understand over the years is that each of us has the right duty to ignite a single match, a match that, coupled with other millions of matches, can illuminate the darkest night.
And it is with this awareness that we have decided to turn on our very personal match called the Men of the Forest, a conservation film that has the noble purpose of raising humanity to the oranges, our cousins of the forest.
Together with my friend and colleague Francesco Menghini, we decided to turn on the cameras and to create one of the films that might change the course of things.
But to do it we need you, we can not do it alone. Help us spread the campaign that will soon start, join the movement, save the oranges, save the forest, save ourselves.