Our Mission defines what we are trying to achieve, what success look like, and our vision sets out what we see as the future that will best accomplish that mission. Everything we do is aligned to achieving our mission, and is then further shaped by our values.
Our strategy is how we choose to work toward our vision of Total Knowledge in a manner that stays true to our values. Our strategy can change with the times, while our vision or values should not. We’d like to share it with you so you can see that everything we do is clearly thought through, and each action represents a step – sometimes small, sometimes huge – toward the same simple goal.
WHAT IS TOTAL KNOWLEDGE?
If we consider that information is power, then Total Knowledge is a situation where all the people have access to all the information, and everybody is empowered equally. This may sound either idealistic or dystopian depending on your point of view, but allow us to explain a little deeper what we mean.
Across the three nations that share Borneo as a territory, and at every level within those nations, lack of information is – if not the major cause – the major facilitator of deforestation and degradation.
Consider a remote community enticed into selling land to a palm oil company because they haven’t seen the potentially disastrous outcomes that other villages have already faced. Or a government planning department that has virtually no biodiversity data to guide them as to where the most vulnerable or important ecosystems are in a given area, let alone standardised maps between their departments.
What about the public (national or international), who have very little understanding, or ways of increasing their understanding, of the rate of deforestation, the effects, and the main drivers. As a consumer should I support a ban of all palm oil, or is it better to actively support responsible palm oil growers? Which business should I champion and which should I campaign against or boycott?
There are thousand of NGOs working across Borneo, but outside of the networks they have each formed, how do they have any idea about what work (good or bad) is being carried out elsewhere? There is massive duplication of effort, resources, and mistakes as a result.
This list could go on forever. And it does! Which is why we have framed everything we do around Total Knowledge. If we can gather all the information we collectively have, make it all publicly available then everybody is better off. What’s more, we can collectively identify the gaps in our knowledge, then we can collaborate to fill them in.
We are pursuing a broad approach toward our vision of Total Knowledge.
EXPLORATION AND RESEARCH
There are huge gaps in our present knowledge when it comes to topics such as biodiversity mapping, species diversity and distribution, the impacts of forest degradation and fragmentation, the ability of species to adapt to climate change, or the local impact of hunting and collecting on animal and plant populations. The only way to gather such information is to go out looking for it. Which is what we do.
Find out more about our EXPEDITIONS or RESEARCH PROGRAMS
COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING
We’re working with remote communities to help them move from a situation where they are barely considered, let alone consulted, by decision makers in government, industry, and sometimes even NGOs, to one where they can actively lead the debate about their future and the future of their local environment.
CREATING AN ONLINE RESOURCE HUB
The future is networked, open source, interactive, and collaborative, and the faster we get there the better. We have started building an online portal where information can be mapped, stored, and available to all. In time this portal, the Borneo Hub, will include geo-referenced, layered data on everything from the position and situation of concessions (past present and planned) to the contact names of NGOs working on micro-hydro projects in a given area. All this information, collected and continuously updated by users, will be searchable, downloadable, and presented visually against a map of the island.
Learn more about the Borneo Hub
EDUCATION AND INSPIRATION
Ask your friends about Borneo and see how much they know. The truth is that even within Indonesia and Malaysia there is a lot of ignorance about the amazing quality and beauty of the rainforests of the island, the vital role they play in providing ecosystem services, and what their destruction means to the lives and livelihoods of local people and wildlife.
The fact is that the Heart of Borneo should be on a par with the Amazon and the Great Barrier reef in terms of natural wonders of international importance.
So we work with partners, schools and universities to create educational resources that are available to everyone, and we make use of satellite communications technology to make our expeditions some of the most innovative on the planet.
We use live video links and multimedia beamed back from our field camps to help us channel the excitement and the adventure of our expeditions, and to create a platform to engage and inspire thousands of people from around the world to do what they can to protect these rainforests.