In summer 2011 I was with two friends for bare two weeks in Borneo. On the following sites I cover my experiences, in addition I show all in all 87 photos, taken during our journey.
Borneo is covered by one of the oldest and most species-rich rainforests worldwide. In the land of headhunters, the Dayaks – how the indigenous population of Borneo is called, circa 15.000 plant species were proven. Borneo is a country of superlatives. You can find there worldwide the largest orchid, the largest carnivorous plants, the largest flower, the largest butterflies. Borneo is the home elephants, hornbills and proboscis monkeys. However, Borneo became famous most of all by orangutans, which are only here and in Sumatra to be found.
But, the idyll is faced with ruin. In the last two decades an area of circa 8.000 square kilometres were each year destroyed. Altogether this area is equivalent to bare the half of Germany.
Mostly disaster begins with the logging, which is legalized by the Indonesian government. Hundreds of years old rainforest giants are wrested from rainforest and are used for house building worldwide. Then the degraded forest is destroyed by slashing and burning and the areas are converted into mono cultures. Mainly result giant oil palms plantations, from whose fruits palm oil is produced. Palm oil is partly processed to cosmetic product. Recently we experience a recent paradox of nature protection: The more and more increased hunger of industrial countries for palm oil is due to the increased environmental awareness in these countries. The major amount of palm oil is no longer to be found in soaps, but is burnt in biomass power plants as regenerative form of energy or is refined to biodiesel. Not least Borneos abundance of natural resources brings about its downfall. International companies bore for fossile oil and natural gas, coal is produced in destructive opencast mining.
This idyll is faced with ruin.