Heart of Borneo
Orang-utans, elephants and rhinos roam wild here, as does the lesser-known clouded leopard, sun bear, banteng (wild ox) and endemic Bornean gibbon.
But with a current deforestation and forest degradation rate of 1.3 million hectares per year – an area equivalent to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area – critically endangered populations of these and other rare animals and plants face an uncertain future.
WWF is attempting to address this by working directly with Borneo’s three nations to conserve the 220,000 square kilometres of equatorial rainforest known as the Heart of Borneo.
The future of this trans-boundary area depends on the collaboration of all three governments as no one country can protect the unique uplands alone.
Our main focus is to control the damage to fragile peat forests through the creation of protected areas, while ensuring Indigenous populations can continue centuries-old farming practices.
“Borneo is undoubtedly one of the most important centres of biodiversity in the world,” said Dr Mubariq Ahmad, Executive Director of WWF-Indonesia. “It’s also a haven for local tribes like the Dayak and Penan people.
“By acting now, we can ensure that the heart of Borneo remains a sanctuary for both well-known and newly-discovered species, and that local communities can maintain their traditional lifestyles.”
1.3 million hectares of forest is cleared each year in Borneo – an area equivalent to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The report also reveals that, although banned, logging is still frequent in the national parks of Kalimantan. The area logged could grow in coming years to 10 million hectares – about one-seventh of the whole of Borneo.
Deforestation on this scale will not only result in a major loss of species but also disrupt water supplies and reduce future economic opportunities, such as tourism, as well as hindering the subsistence of local communities.
The Heart of Borneo campaign represents a unique opportunity to conserve pristine tropical rainforest on a huge scale – almost 30% of the world’s third largest island.
This is also the last chance to save one of only two places on Earth where orang-utans, elephants and rhinos still co-exist, and ensure cultural continuity for Borneo’s people.
Visit the WWF Heart of Borneo site for more information and details about how you can help.
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