Mongabay Officially Announces Indonesia Site, Calls for Freelance Contributors

Mongabay, which publishes content on environmentalism, energy and green tech, has launched its Indonesia site on April 30. The site is run by Indonesians and supported by correspondents across the country. Mongabay is actually recruiting for contributors recently. With the launch of localized site, Mongabay is expected to encourage interest in nature and promote awareness of environmental issues in the country.

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Similar with the umbrella site, Mongabay Indonesia focuses on news, analysis and information on environmental topics. Following the launch, the site has already engaged a social media team on-board to spread the wored through major social network channels, including Twitter and Facebook.

The independent environmental news site itself was launched two years ago by Rhett A. Butler, with the mission “to raise interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging local and global trends in technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development.” The site has been recognized as an important and credible information source on forests by a wide range of institutions, including NGOs,  government agencies, private sector companies, and prominent media outlets such as CNN, CBS, Discovery Channel, NBC and Yahoo as information sources. Now they draw attention of over 2.5 million monthly visitors.

Butler has addressed several concerns about Indonesia, particularly how the clearing of Borneo’s rainforests threatens orangutans, how corruption clouds forest protection plans and how companies engage in clearing protected forest for palm oil plantations. In February 2011, Mr. Butler visited Indonesia in relation to the U.S State Department’s Speakers Program promoting community involvement in biodiversity conservation and addressing key global challenges. Then he toured Lampung, Jambi, Jakarta and Kalimantan, including their National and Provincial Parks, meeting with government, local leaders, NGOs and university students.

Land tenure issues have long plagued the forestry sector in Indonesia. Majority of the forest is owned by the state, which historically has offered large concessions to logging companies. Local communities usually have no incentive to reject illegal logging or manage forests sustainably. To fight these environmental ills, Mr. Butler means to get commuitives actively involved and constructive in participation by being giving a stake in the forest management space.