Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei Agree To Save "Heart Of Borneo"

File photo of the jungles of Borneo
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Feb 12, 2007
Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei on Monday agreed to conserve a large swathe of mountainous rainforest covering a third of Borneo which is home to endangered orangutans, elephants and rhinos. "This will put the 'Heart of Borneo' on the world stage as one of the last great blocks of forest in the world," Indonesian Forestry Minister Malem Sambet Kaban said after he and his counterparts from Malaysia and Brunei signed the "Rainforest Declaration" on the resort island of Bali.

Under the declaration, the three countries agreed to work together to conserve about 220,000 square kilometres (88,000 square miles) of equatorial rainforest covering about a third of the island, environmental group WWF said in a statement.

"This event is more than symbolic, as it represents a commitment between our three countries to conserve and sustainably manage the 'Heart of Borneo'," said Malaysian Environment Minister Azmi bin Khalid.

WWF said the agreement also ended plans to create the world's largest palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, along Indonesia's border with Malaysia.

"The scheme -- supported by Chinese investments -- was expected to cover an area of 1.8 million hectares and would have had long-lasting, damaging consequences to the 'Heart of Borneo'," it said.

Borneo's rainforests have been under threat from unsustainable logging, forest fires and conversion to plantations.

Since 1996, deforestation across Indonesia has increased to an average of two million hectares (five million acres) a year and now only half of Borneo's original forest cover remains.

Borneo's forests are home to 13 primate species -- including endangered orangutans -- more than 350 bird species, 150 reptiles and amphibians and about 15,000 species of plants.

Scientists continue to make many new discoveries in the forests -- more than 50 new species were discovered last year alone.

Brunei's Industry Minister Ahmad bin Haji Jumat said "the world outside our countries is excited by what we are doing and is prepared to lend us support."

The three governments first announced their joint intention to conserve the "Heart of Borneo" during the Convention on Biodiversity in Brazil in March 2006.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
Save the Forests at Wood Pile

Illegal Logging Threatens Endangered Orangutans
Nairobi (AFP) Feb 6, 2007
Illegal logging by international companies could lead to a 98 percent loss of South East Asia's tropical rainforests by 2022, threatening the habitat of tens of thousands of endangered orangutans, the United Nations warned Tuesday. To supply a growing global demand for timber and biofuels like palm oil, illegal loggers have begun to raid Indonesia's national parks, resulting in a devastating loss of biodiversity for both local and animal populations, a report by the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP) found.

  • Health Problems Hit Indonesia Flood Victims
  • Japan Launches Alert System For Tsunamis And Missiles
  • Catastrophe Bonds A Market Answer To Hail Or High Water
  • Call To Move Indonesian Capital After Deadly Floods

  • Global Warming Debate Heats Up In Washington
  • Study Shows Largest North America Climate Change In 65 Million Years
  • White House Issues Rare Letter Defending Record On Warming
  • From Greenhouse To Icehouse: New Clues On Ancient Climate Shift

  • Gascom To Launch 4 Smotr Low-Orbit Remote Sensing Satellites
  • GeoEye Makes Final Debt Payment For The Purchase Of Space Imaging
  • Google Earth To Blur Key India Sites
  • Brazilian Satellite Undergoes Environmental Tests

  • Cold Storage Solution For Global Warming
  • Energy Giant Total To Test Scheme To Store Carbon Emissions
  • Chinese firms win 1.46 bln dollar hydro project in Nigeria
  • Storing Carbon Dioxide Below Ground May Prevent Polluting Above

  • Large-Scale Trial Of HIV Vaccine Launched In South Africa
  • AIDS Vaccine Closer But Remains Elusive
  • Global Vaccine Market To Top 23 Billion Dollars
  • US Overdue For Bird Flu Experts Warn

  • Researchers Unearth 4300-Year-Old Chimpanzee Technology
  • Adaptation To Global Climate Change Is An Essential Response To A Warming Planet
  • Electric Fish Shed Light On Ways The Brain Directs Movement
  • Investigating The Invisible Life In Our Environment

  • Britain Launches Investigation Into Monsanto Toxic Waste
  • Pollution Worsens As Curbs Fail In China
  • Facing Jail US Mining Boss Says Pollution Trial A Sham
  • EU To Propose Laws To Fight 'Green Crimes'

  • Human Ecological Footprint In 2015 And Amazonia Revealed
  • Risk Of Extinction Accelerated Due To Interacting Human Threats
  • Carnegie Mellon Student Develops Mood-Sharing Gadget To Help Computer Users Express Their Feelings
  • Selectivity Is Ultimate Aphrodisiac

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement