Forest clearing on BorneoBorneo, Indonesiaongoing
form of distructiondistroyed forest cover deforesting industriedeforestation rate
forest clearing50%palm oil plantation1.3 million hectares per year
Illegal logging has become a way of life for some communities, with timber being taken from wherever it is accessible, sold to collectors and processed in huge sawmills. In the absence of sufficient alternative economic development, this is an irresistible lure for the local communities.
Satellite studies show that some 56% of protected lowland tropical rainforests in Kalimantan were cut down between 1985 and 2001 to supply global timber demand – that’s more than 29,000 km² (almost the size of Belgium). Protection laws are in effect throughout Borneo, but are often inadequate or are flagrantly violated, usually without any consequences.
One of the biggest drivers of deforestation in the HoB and Kalimantan is the growth of oil palm plantations in response to global demand for palm oil, the most important tropical vegetable oil in the global oils and fats industry. Within Indonesia, oil palm production expanded from 600,000 hectares in 1985 to over 6 million hectares by 2007.Oil palm development contributes to deforestation - directly and indirectly. About half of all presently productive plantations (over 6 million ha) were established in secondary forest and bush areas in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Without the maintenance of very large blocks of inter-connected forest, there is a clear risk that hundreds of species could become extinct. Large mammals such as orang-utans and elephants are particularly affected because of the vast areas they require to survive. For example, the Borneo elephant has increasingly come into conflict with the expansion of human agriculture activities in its natural habitat. Other smaller species, especially small mammals, may not be able to re-colonize isolated patches of suitable habitat and thus will become locally extinct. Road construction through protected areas leads to further separation of habitat ranges and provides easy access for poachers to some of the more remote and diverse tracts of remaining virgin forest.
Many of Borneo's major rivers originate in the Heart of Borneo. Maintaining the forests is critical to ensure the island's water supply, moderate the impacts of droughts and fires, and to support ecological and economic stability in the lowlands.
forest lossper year
2001 to 20032004 to 20062007 to 20092010 to 20122013 to 20152016 to 2018 2019