German ‘running’ to save environment praises Brunei conservation efforts

|     James Kon     |

ON A noble mission to save the natural environmental from destruction, Andreas Bussinger is running across the island of Borneo to raise awareness on conservation and raise funds for environmental projects.

The 28-year-old German arrived in Brunei Darussalam yesterday en route to Miri, Kuching and final destination Pontianak covering a distance of 1,700 kilometres.

Passionate about saving the natural environment, Andreas, who is also called Andi, started his journey from Kudat, Sabah on July 15 and ran 30 kilometres daily to reach Brunei Darussalam after crossing the border post of Kuala Lurah around 11am.

In an exclusive interview with the Bulletin, he recalled, “There are numerous environmental and climate change issues around us. This Transborneo Run is to raise awareness on more to done in environmental and social projects.”

He added, “We humans are not only here to survive on earth. We can do much more to help other people and preserve the environment.”

Andreas Bussinger in a group photo with runners in front of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. – PHOTOS: ANDREAS BUSSINGER
Andreas Bussinger during his run in Sabah
Andreas Bussinger travels in his caravan in Mongolia

Through the Transborneo Run, he also said he hoped to raise USD10,000 for five different projects, namely the Reforestation Project, Orangutan Project, Orang Asli Project, Plastic Recycling Machine Project and Ocean Conservation project. He said, “We have a website to collect donation at transborneo.org/donate.”

Asked how he came up with the idea, he explained, “After travelling the world in my caravan for more than three years, we drove from Germany to Turkey and then Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Laos, Cambodia. We have seen many countries and lot of environmental destruction in some countries. “

He continued, “We arrived in Borneo and you have this great rainforest, there is so many wildlife here. Brunei has protected its pristine forest while other countries like Sabah and Sarawak have many logging and palm oil plantations.

I am not sure what the effect is in the long-term.

“The travelling has made me think that some places have harder life and less nature while in Borneo, there is ample beautiful nature and people need to protect it for the future.”

Andreas would like to see more public action to preserve the nature and not having to wait for the government or companies to lead first.

He commended the Brunei Government’s exemplary efforts in preserving the rainforest.

He said, “I wish that the whole Borneo is like Brunei. In Brunei, the forests are protected and in healthy conditions. The air and surrounding environment is so clean.”

On the most memorable incidents in his journey so far, he said, “People in Borneo are so kind to me, as some came out to run with me.”

Andreas will meet the public today at 4.30pm at the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Silver Jubilee Park and will have a two-kilometre fun run.

He will resume his run to Sarawak on August 13. Members of the public can follow Andreas’ updates through his Facebook page (Transborneorun).