Based on the islands’ history of global trade, along with the unique properties of the natural environment, several efforts have been made to propose the Banda Islands for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Together with an expert team from Rutgers University, Joëlla van Donkersgoed has been closely involved with this process.

“The Banda Islands feature outstanding examples of remains of forts, ports, and a comprehensive plantation system that are illustrative of the Western colonial era and the quest for a monopoly on nutmeg,” she writes.

“Banda Neira, which functioned as the main center of the Banda Islands during the Dutch reign, became the location to which several political activists, including Mohammad Hatta and Sutan Sjahrir, were exiled. The history of the Banda Islands thus encompasses both the start of colonial rule and the resistance of the Indonesian people.”


Read more in the The Banda Islands: Hidden Histories and Miracles of Nature. To order a copy, email

The book is priced at Rp. 395,000. 10% of direct sales go to sustainability initiatives on the islands. For more information on the causes we support, click here.

The Banda Islands is also currently available in Indonesia at Periplus nationwide, at Aksara and Bartele Gallery in Jakarta, and at Ganesha in Bali.