Kalimantan Story

Peat fire 2015. Photo by Bjorn Vaughn

Peat fire 2015. Photo by Bjorn Vaughn

Kalimantan is the home to the world's most biodiversity and oldest rainforest which exist for 140 millions years old. It’s the real habitat of orang utans and rich for its natural resources. For centuries, the Dayak people, the first people of the land, have lived in harmony with the environment. There are more than 400 different Dayak tribes that speak different languages. The culture is beautiful and amazing.

However, in the last 20 years, more than 50% of Kalimantan rainforest is gone. Orang utans lost 90% of their habitats. 78% from 15,3 millions hectares of Central Kalimantan, middle part of the island, has been given to extractive industries like logging, coal and gold mining, and palm oil plantation. Based on data in 2015 there are 525 palm oil private companies that operate in Kalimantan. This all environmental destruction caused peat fire in 1997. That year, Kalimantan released 2,5 billion tons of carbon. It happened again in 2015 in which carbon emission released by Kalimantan peat fire exceeded the entire US economy at the same period. The air pollution was equal to smoking 672 cigarettes in a day. Thousands of orang utan died of starvation and thousands of people in Kalimantan were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. It has been happening for over two decades until today.

The land has been taken. The rivers have been polluted. The forest have been cut down and burned. Babies and children are dying due to water and air pollution. Elders are imprisoned by big companies. Men are displaced from jobs. Women suffer from skin disease and cancer resulted by the use of pesticide.

Hurt, sorrow, and pain are so real.

But… we have not given up.

Who We Are

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

We know we have power inside, power that being given by God and we inherit from our Dayak ancestors.

Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Our Footstep - Ranu Welum started its journey in 2014 as a youth indigenous filmmaking community based in Palangka Raya.  It was started by Emmanuela Shinta, a young Dayak leader.  We use audiovisual media to bring our stories, and those of the Dayak people, to the world. As a community, we often discuss and share about human rights and environmental issues faced by the Dayak people, and help young people take action. We have been active in many social activities as volunteers, dedicated to our cause. 

During the worst forest fire and toxic haze time in Kalimantan last 2015, our young people moved as volunteers to help people, especially villagers who were affected the most. In collaboration with the Anti-Haze Movement, which Emmanuela Shinta coordinated, volunteers went to reach villages damaged most by fire and haze, to bring medical service, supplies, and provide crucial education on health protection. 

In May 2016, we officially launched a foundation dedicated to Dayak nation, RANU WELUM FOUNDATION.


YOUTH EMPOWERMENT through film screening, discussion and training.

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT through film screening, discussion and training.

We are passionate about helping people! We dare to dream, and we dream high! We want to change the world! We refuse to give up! We have determination, strength and belief in our Dayak values! We believe in all possibilities.