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A DREAM OF THE WILDEST MALAYSIAN BORNEO THAT NO LONGER WILD?


KOTA KINABALU, Sabah, East Malaysia - Research, conducted by a team of scientists years ago show 80 percent of the rainforests in Sabah and Sarawak the Malaysian Borneo have been heavily impacted by industrial logging and logging roads across areas that were considered some of Earth's wildest lands less than 30 years ago.
The study uncovered some 226,000 miles (364,000 km) of roads across Sabah and Sarawak, and found that roughly 80 percent of the two states have been impacted by logging or clearing. At best, only 45,400 square kilometers of forest ecosystems in the region remain intact.
The logging industry has penetrated right into the heart of Borneo and very little rainforest remains untouched by logging or clear-fell in Malaysian Borneo, mentioned in the report.
There is a crisis in tropical forest ecosystems in Malaysian Borneo. Only small areas of intact forest remain in Malaysian Borneo, because so much has been heavily logged or cleared for oil palm production.
Rainforests that previously contained lots of big old trees, which store carbon and support a diverse ecosystem, are being replaced with oil palm or timber plantations, or hollowed out by logging.
Malaysian Borneo's rainforests are home to a number of charismatic species, including Bornean orangutans, pygmy elephants, clouded leopards, proboscis monkeys, and Sumatran rhinos, which are on the edge of extinction.
Its ecosystems also store vast amounts of carbon, which is released through forest degradation and clearance, land-clearing fires, and peatlands drainage and conversion to plantations.
The new analysis shows that logging and conversion have taken a heavy toll in the Sabah and Sarawak. One reason the impact of logging has been greater in Borneo than regions like Latin America and Central Africa is the nature of the island's forests, which have a high density of commercially exploitable dipterocarp trees.
Therefore loggers in Malaysian Borneo extract a much higher volume of trees per hectare, causing considerable damage and requiring longer harvest cycles. 
Low returns between harvests increase pressure to convert logged-over forests for timber and oil palm plantations.

Source: Agency
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