The Indonesian Forest Fires One Year Later - The Great Project Volunteers Have Helped To Plant Over 2,000 New Trees!

The Indonesian Forest Fires One Year Later - The Great Project Volunteers Have Helped To Plant Over 2,000 New Trees!

Posted by Connor Whelan on 8th Nov 2016

You may remember last year when we brought you news of the terrifying fires which had spread through the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary in Indonesia and had begun to threaten the lives of the orangutans and other wildlife in the area.

The fires were started after local farmers used the “slash and burn technique” which involves cutting down and then burning large areas of forest to make way for new farmland. In an area which is dense with forest that is often very dry, this is a recipe for disaster and the flames spread far and wide in no time at all.

Indonesia Fire

The devastation from last years fires cannot be shown any clearer than this.

Fortunately, with a combination of wet weather and the efforts made by local people to quash the flames, the fires subsided with minimal damage to animal lives. However, one piece of nature that did suffer badly as a result of the fires was the trees.

Around 200 hectares of the 1800 at Samboja Lestari were lost last October and November, and this meant that a huge operation was needed to replant and re-establish the forest. A dedicated tree planting team was created at the project site, and with the help of some generous donors they have been able to replant around 15,500 trees over 40 hectares so far!

Here is out volunteer coordinator Kate with some of the new tree cutlings!

The rains have been plentiful in this year’s wet season, and this has meant that the trees have been able to flourish and get off to the best start possible!

Borneo Volunteers

These volunteers are proud of their sapling!

The forest rebuilding process would not be possible without volunteers. The Great Projects volunteers have planted around 2,000 trees within the area, and they are now tasked with the difficult job of clearing any vegetation which may stop the trees from growing.

Borneo Rainforest

If you look closely here you will see the young saplings growing in the centre of the forest clearing!

The process of recovering from last year’s awful forest fires will be a long one, but as you can see it is well underway. With the help of the dedicated Samboja staff and hardworking volunteers, the aim is to take the forest back to its pre-fire state and to ensure that the biodiversity of the forest can return.

If this sounds like something you would like help with, or you would like to have the chance to aid in orangutan conservation in their natural homeland then why not take a look at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project webpage?


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.


Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


Experience The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary! This volunteer project offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country's most iconic species.

Discover The Great White Shark Project

Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.

Volunteers Review Their Experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

Latest Blog Arcticles


It’s Orangutan Release Time!

It’s Orangutan Release Time!

12 more orangutans have been successfully released back...

Meet 12 orangutan candidates up for release!

Meet 12 orangutan candidates up for release!

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Borneo...

Linda's Samboja Lestari Orangutan Adventure

Linda's Samboja Lestari Orangutan Adventure

Linda Duchin volunteered at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan...

Two Rewilded Cheetahs, Two Years On - A Remarkable Rewilding Story

Two Rewilded Cheetahs, Two Years On - A Remarkable Rewilding Story

Join us on a remarkable rewilding journey as we revisit the...

Janet & Mick's Unforgettable Gorilla Adventure

Janet & Mick's Unforgettable Gorilla Adventure

Janet and Mick joined The Great Gorilla Project last year...

The Team Returns - James & Lauren's South Africa Experience

The Team Returns - James & Lauren's South Africa Experience

Lauren and James have returned and are ready to relay tales...

The Great Projects On Tour: Upcoming Staff Trips

The Great Projects On Tour: Upcoming Staff Trips

Team members Lauren and James, joined colleague Georgia to...

Lynne's Top Tips For Volunteering at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Lynne's Top Tips For Volunteering at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteer Lynne Coe shares her valuable tips on what to...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987