Borneo’s Last Rainforests to Be Lost to Oil Palm

Just what the ecologically ravaged island of Borneo needs – to have its last relatively intact rainforests converted to an oil palm plantation. Indonesia and Malaysia are suffering mightily as a result of inappropriate tropical land management including large monocropped plantations and industrial scale logging – witness the recent resurgence of haze as damaged rainforests burn. Ecological sustainability in these countries depends upon stabilizing and reversing forest loss – not wiping out the last remnants which provide important ecosystem services such as water retention.

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3 Responses

  1. Louis McCarten says:

    At least one Malaysian timber corporation (the Oriental TImber Corporation) was proved to be complicit with al-Qaeda and global terrorism. Crew members of a ship belonging to Oriental Timber Corporation were seen by reliable eyewitnesses at a Sierra Leonian port city unloading a large cache of weapons to supply 'rebels'(actually al-Qaeda-backed insurgents) in a war that was engineered to divert Sierra Leone's diamond trade into the hands of Middle Eastern jihadist networks–a war that is believed to have claimed over 500,000 West African lives. Malaysia's war on the world's last rainforests is also part of a war aimed at destroying people like us who care about them.
    What a final insult for Borneo to be left a wasteland by perpetrators of global mass murder and mayhem,

  2. craig hart says:

    The problems of Indonesian forest losses are due to a systemic culture of corrupt officials, and lax surveillance of illegal activities. Couple this with schemes concocted by a group of “well connected” entreprenours bent on making fortunes from palm oil, and you have the receipe for ecological disaster. Americans, and other consumers in the industrialized world have to come to grips with high oil prices, and cheap tropical oils that have it seems been proven to have doubtfull health benefits to consumers. Combined these issues or inability to deal with these issues, drive the market for palm oil, and Indonesian buisnessmen as a result jump at the chance to make mega bucks from them. The jump from fossil fuels for cars, to biofuels and the high price of oil per barrel has made palm oil an attractive choice for car engines that do not have to be “re invented” as they would say to use hydrogen. Sugar cane,corn,and soy are also candidates for biofuels, but there is also another choice. Recently i have read where genetically engineering into bacterial cultures of enzyme producing genes that are capable of digesting wood waste, and things such as rice or wheat straw are being investigated. If this route is taken perhaps a new large source of fuel can be obtained without rendering the last pristine rainforests into pulp and replanting the land with palm oil or soy plantations. Lets hope!

  3. tisane says:

    The continued expansion of oil palm plantations will worsen the dual environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, unless rainforests are better protected, warn scientists in the most comprehensive review of the subject to date.

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