Wehea is a sub-ethnic of “Dayak” (the indigenous people of Kalimantan Island), there are six Dayak Wehea villages with the population of about 2,000 people, Nehas Liah Bing is one of them.They have lived for generations for hundreds of years in this area. They originally come from China. They depend on natural resources. They live next to the Protected Wehea rainforest and they protect the fauna and flora.
Wehea Dayak community keep their traditions as Wehea Petkuq is the way of people sit all around a fire as ritual. They have ceremony during the year where they wear traditionnal costumes, like Lomplai ceremony to celebrate rice harvest, They try to keep the elderly culture. They also have Wehea Dayak handicraft.
In 1970s there was transmigration program from the government in this area, so many people from others islands started to come over. Changes took place quickly, and a lot of deforestation happened.
The Chief of the village Pak Ledjie Taq with community leaders and elders has formed some decades ago Lembaga Adat Wehea (LAW) to preserve traditional culture of Dayak. It is cultural association which is not legally registered but respected by the community and the local governments. Initially, the organisation's works focused in the field of cultural preservation. As they found that the forest which is an important part of their lives is dramatically treatened by unsustainable logging activities and the extension of the palm oil plantation (deforestation). They decided to work on the environmental conservation of government of Indonesia by declaring the Wehea rainforest as the conserved and protected forest.
To support this activity, LAW has builted strong cooperation with other agencies (international and local NGOs) and the local Government to recruit and hire forest rangers to protect the forest from encroachment.
LAW has opened lodge in the Wehea forest for eco-tourism in order to let foreigners discover this amazing rainforest with is fabulous flora and fauna. By visiting Wehea Protected Forest, you are contributing to the ongoing protection of this incredible place. So far it is a very positive way of making forest protection an economically viable investment for the community, and thus ensuring the continued safety of this beautiful forest.
Wehea Protected Forest is a must-see in Indonesian Borneo, of 38,000 hectares. You can wake up to the sound of gibbons singing, discover a breathtaking view at the top of every ridge, and hug a tree that is over 3-meters around. It is as wild as a forest can get, and you will have a truly authentic tropical rain forest experience. This rainforest is a primary dipterocarp rain forest in East Kalimantan – instead of mono crops. You’ll be surrounded by biodiversity, you’ll feel the cool dampness of an intact rain forest, you’ll see babbling streams and rushing waterfalls. An amazing Wildlife is living there :Orangutan, gibbons, leave monkeys, macacas, bears, deers, wildboars, hornbills, raptors, Clouded Leopards, cobras, porcupine, lizards, frogs, toads, leeches, bees, wasps. And you can see variety of fruits :Ulin, pohon kapur, forest rambutan, snakes fruit.
The Wehea Dayak community is always delighted to welcome tourists into their forest, which is protected by their “adat” (traditional law), and monitored by Wehean Petkuq Mehuey program.
If want to know more about forest protection or more about wildlife protection you can check out Profauna.