Paul earns adventure of a lifetime

Maleny-based environmentalist, Paul Daley is about to undertake an adventure of a lifetime. He is one of five passionate and determined young Australians who have been selected from a global pool of 218 applicants to help save forests and orangutans in Borneo – and all recorded in a 3D action movie.

AWARD-WINNING film company Virgo Productions is shooting a 3D feature documentary about the project in collaboration with National Geographic Entertainment. Filming will take place over five months in Borneo, starting in September with Paul Daley in the lead reconnaissance team.

Virgo director Kathy Henkel told the Hinterland Times that Paul was a stand-out member of the project from hundreds of young applicants around the world. “He is one of our stars,” said Kathy, “and he brings many advantages to this project.”

25 year-old Paul currently works with Spencer Shaw and his team (right), at Brush Turkey Enterprises as a bush regenerator. He has a background in restoration ecology, and nursery management and is a passionate nature photographer.

Paul and his companions will spend 100 days in the jungles of Borneo tasked with saving rainforests and endangered orangutans. The team will work side-by-side with acclaimed tropical forest ecologist Dr Willie Smits and the local Dayak people.

Paul Daley has gained much ‘action agent’ training with the team at Maleny-based Brush Turkey Enterprises.

The project includes installing satellite technology to help the local military monitor and halt the illegal deforestation, rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans made homeless through deforestation, and restoring a full rainforest eco-system on a scale never before attempted.

Throughout the 100 days, they will communicate online and via mobile technology to millions of students across the globe connected through Microsoft’s Partners in Learning and TakingITGlobal, the world’s largest not-for- profit social network.

The Virgo Productions 3D action movie about the project is called 100 days in the Jungle and will follow the adventures of Paul and the other action agents selected to spend 100 days in the jungle from October this year.

Paul was chosen from hundreds of young applicants world-wide for his passionate commitment and practical experience of forest environments. He grew up on a rainforest and fruit tree nursery in NSW. “This gave me an appreciation and respect for the natural world,” says Paul. “Experiencing the power of working with nature helps us realise our potential to be stewards of the planet,” Paul adds.

The Borneo project is called DeforestACTION and is a global “Shout” initiative of the Smithsonian Institution, Microsoft and TakingtITGlobal. This call to action supports a number of world-wide environmentally-themed projects that are designed to present young people with challenges to deepen their engagement with the natural world. Borneo was chosen because it was once covered with

dense rainforests, but its highland forests and tropical lowlands have experienced extensive deforestation over the past sixty years. In the 1980s and 1990s the forests in Borneo were leveled at a rate unparalleled in human history, burned, logged and cleared, and commonly replaced with agricultural land, or palm oil plantations.

“I want to acknowledge the tremendous support I have got from Brush Turkey,” said Paul. “Spencer has been such a great teacher for my ‘action agent’ training, and my selection in the project has a lot to do with my skills and experience in ecological restoration.

“I want to acknowledge the tremendous support I have received from Brush Turkey,” said Paul. “Spencer and the whole team have been such inspiring teachers and my selection in the project has a lot to do with these skills and experiences in ecological restoration”.

To support Paul on his adventures and help him fund- raise $5000 for the project, visit his online blog @ or donate at

Borneo’s urangutans are under threat of extinction through rampant de-forestation of their island home

Paul Daley’s dream …

Personally I want to contribute my passion for restoration ecology and bring this new science of accelerated regeneration into mainstream consciousness. Everyone knows how devastating our modern civilization is on the natural world.

What we haven’t quite clued onto yet is our potential to reverse this trend and assist the natural process of ecological regeneration in a way that benefits all life on earth, including humanity.

With my background in bush regeneration, nursery propagation and rainforest ecology, I hope to inspire a whole new generation of kids who are cultivating a deeper sense of connection to the land and all the different species that make up the web of life on our planet.

I guess ultimately the lesson in ecology is that everything is connected. Saving the rainforest and orangutans is also working towards maintaining a habitable planet for humanity.

As American Indian ‘Chief Seattle’ once said,

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

I want to inspire everyone in our generation, from school children to senior citizens, that we can create an abundant future if we work with the natural world. This project is all about hope, and offering a solution that is practical, achievable and absolutely necessary if we want to halt the destruction of the planet’s rainforest communities.”

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