Report: Borneo - Treasure Island at Risk | WWF

Report: Borneo - Treasure Island at Risk

Posted on
07 June 2005
If the current rate of deforestation continues, Borneo – the world's third largest island – could lose most of its lowland forests in less than ten years, according to a new WWF report.

This would seriously jeopardise the long-term survival of pygmy elephants and orang-utans, as well as the island's future economic potential. By 2020, the remaining populations of orang-utans may be too small to be genetically viable due to fragmentation of their habitat, WWF says.

Today, only half of Borneo's forest cover remains, down from 75 per cent in the mid 1980s. With a current deforestation rate of 1.3 million hectares per year – an area equivalent to about one third of the size of Switzerland – only peat and montane forests would survive in the coming years. According to the report, forest fires, the conversion of forests to plantations, and rampant logging are driving the destruction of Borneo's forests.