Saturday, February 11, 2012

'Heart Of Borneo,' Last Stronghold Of Lowland Forest

KUCHING -- The Heart of Borneo (HoB), which straddles the transboundary highlands of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, may be the last stronghold for the preservation of lowland forest in Borneo, said a report released by World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia)'s Heart of Borneo Initiative.

Its team leader Adam Tomasek said today based on the the new report titled "The Environmental Status of the Heart of Borneo", the good news overall was that most forest types in the HoB were currently rated as good or very good.

"This is particularly important for lowland forest which is under severe threat across the rest of the island of Borneo, especially as it is prime habitat for the pygmy elephant, orang utan and rhino," he said in a statement here.

However, he said, the HoB still remained under serious threat from industrial conversion of natural forest for oil palm cultivation and other agricultural crops as well as illegal logging and unsustainable rates of legal timber extraction.

Forest fires, mining and over hunting of wildlife were also major threats which future versions of the report would serve to monitor, said Adam in highlighting the significance of the report, which analysed the environmental health of the area via 13 key targets and more than 50 scientifically derived biological and ecosystem indicators.

The targets included endangered animal species, such as the orang utan, rhino and pygmy elephant and a selection of ecosystems, including lowland, heath and montane forests and river systems, with each key target being given a rating of very good, good, fair or poor - depending on its current quality within the HoB.

Continue reading at: 'Heart Of Borneo,' Last Stronghold Of Lowland Forest

No comments: