The acceleration of development globally vs the increasing need to conserve vast tracts of natural ecosystems such as rainforests has become the debate of our world. Borneo is an excellent example of this. Increasingly it is realised that rainforest conservation is an important part of tackling climate change. On the other hand developing countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia increasingly seek opportunities to create wealth from their natural ‘assets’. Borneo provides those sort after opportunities.
Migration and economic polices in Indonesia have for years encouraged the development of Borneo. Deforestation has increased markedly thanks to slash and burn agriculture and growing urbanisation. The pie charts above show the alarming rate of deforestation. For more information on Borneo please go to this excellent site, Mongabay.com.
A recent agreement called the “Heart of Borneo” was signed by the three governments that share the island. This gives some grounds for optimism that conservation may have a future role to play with protecting Borneo’s central rainforest area. There have however been incursions into ‘protected’ areas before and a recent call from Indonesia’s environment minister for their conservation efforts to be ‘recognized’ sends a warning to the world that money talks.
CDM, carbon credits? Why not? Now there’s a worthwhile World Bank project if I ever saw one.