Indonesia and Singapore
“Due to piling works for touristic activity, sand mining, and logging for charcoal business, only 4.2% of Batam island is covered in mangrove forest, a great decrease from 24% in 1970. Originally, Batam Island had 41,500 hectares of mangrove forests.”
“In Bintan, the primary forest cover was in a limited area on the hills. There was extensive deforestation done mostly for the cultivation of gambier (Uncaria gembieri). The plantation size of each gambier plantation was 30 hectares. For processing of gambier leaves firewood was essential.”
“Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Indonesia, is a peatland area in Sumatra featuring sustainable timber production and two wildlife reserves, which are home to the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant, Malayan tapir, and Malayan sun bear.”
Cradle of Malay Civilisation
300 years ago, Riau was the heart of Malay civilization, the islands’ illustrious history derived both from the Malay Peninsula and mainland Sumatra. It is an area rich in crumbling historical sites, a pilgrimage destination for its old mosques, reconstructed palaces and tombs of venerated saints. 12 generations of sultans, said to be descended from Bugis seafarers, have ruled in the area. The Sultans of Tanjung Pinang once held power over Johore state on the Malay Peninsula, the Lingga islands, and even as far as Tembilahan on Sumatra.