FAQs about the Borneo rainforest

10. What is being done to recover the Borneo rainforest?

According to WWF, only 9% of Kalimantan, 8% of Sarawak and 14% of Sabah are under some type of protection. However, even some of these protected areas have not been saved from deforestation. Between 1985 and 2001 the protected areas of Kalimantan were reduced by about 56%, according to Lisa Curran, a renowned scientist who spent twenty years studying Borneo’s climate and is an expert in the natural history of the island.

WWF reports cite the Kutai National Park as an example. Kutai was established in 1936 as a reserve of 306,000 hectares, however, due to logging concessions and oil exploration that have been granted over the years, the park has been reduced to an area of close to 200,000 hectares. In the 1980s and 1990s illegal logging left the forest in a very degraded state. The 1997-1998 fires burned 92% of the park’s surface.

As for the Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, from 1998-2002, 70% of the lowlands of the buffer zone were deforested and currently, less than 9% of that area is from lowland forests. Within the park, 38% of the forests have been deforested by loggers.

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