Saturday, April 22, 2017

East of E15: Deforestation in Borneo

When people imagine Borneo they conjure up images of endless steaming jungle filled with bugs, monkeys, orangutans and elephants.

However, this image of Borneo presented in most travel guides and blogs is disingenuous.

While there are still sizable areas of jungle in the upland mountainous regions the super rich and diverse lowland diptocarp jungles and now largely gone expect for a few protected pockets which are not big enough to support healthy populations of Borneo’s famous jungle species such as orangutans, hornbills, the Bornean pygmy elephant and the Sumartran rhino

So what happened? And who is responsible for what Gordon Brown called the greatest environmental crime of the 20th century?

In a series of blogs I will answer these questions and lay out what possible solutions there are to saving Borneo’s remaining jungle.

The answer to the first question is massive deforstation on a scale never seen before and monoculture crop plantations such as rubber but mostly palm oil.

As a result there are areas in Borneo’s lowlands where for hundereds of kilometers there is literally only one plant species, the African oil palm.

Now some may claim that this has been a good thing for the people of Borneo making previously unprodictive land productive, providing employment, a route out of poverty and tax recipts to the government.

All of these claims will be examined in the third blog in this series, while in this first blog I will look at the environmental costs deforestation has had on the flora and fauna of Borneo.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: East of E15: Deforestation in Borneo