Rachel: What made you want to work at TRCRC, and what do you most enjoy?
Andy: The main attraction to working at TRCRC was the surrounding forest, and getting to work with the forest every day. The forest is what I enjoy most about my work, and getting to contribute to the reforestation projects at TRTRC.
R: How do you feel about palm oil?
A: We see both sides of the argument as you have to be realistic. It’s possible to grow palm oil and also protect the forest. Palm oil is a big source of income for the local population and people rely on it to feed their families, but we need to avoid unsustainable logging. Some percentage of palm oil profit needs to go to reforestation efforts.
R: Why do you think we should protect the rainforest?
A: Why? Because it’s important. Here in Sabah especially, the rainforest provides us with clean water, clean air, habitat for our animals and much more. We can’t afford to lose it.
R: How does the rainforest impact your life?
A: The rainforest is like our home. From a young age we work together with the forest, and we’d find it hard to live without what it provides for us.
R: What do you hope TRCRC’s impact will be on the future?
A: We hope TRCRC can help the rainforest to become stronger on this site. But maybe the most important thing is that the people who work and volunteer here can spread what they’ve learned about protecting the environment to the outside world, so the work can continue in other places too.
R: What impact do you think Raleigh has made at TRCRC?
A: Raleigh volunteers make an important contribution to TRCRC and supply a lot of our manpower. Without this, we couldn’t have achieved half of what we have done, especially when it comes to the building and big replanting projects.
R: What has been your favourite moment working with Raleigh?
A: Working with Raleigh is very motivating. We like some friendly competition with the Raleigh volunteers when it comes to the work projects, and when they manage to do more than us we always give them credit. We also really like to play sport with the Raleigh teams.
R: What do you think the future of TRCRC is?
A: We hope TRCRC can help to build the reforestation project and project sustainable income as well. We also hope that the news of what TRCRC is doing spreads around the outside, and we can continue informing people about how important it is to protect the rainforest for the future.
Interview conducted by Rachel