Thursday, September 18, 2008

THE NEEDS OF CONSERVATION IN BORNEO

The land of Borneo is the third largest island in the world and located at the centre of Maritime Southeast Asia. It’s richness in biodiversity makes it is one of the hot spot centre for the biologist (mammalogist, herpetologist, ornithologist, entomologist, botanist etc) to explore the undiscovered tropical rainforest. I searched information in the web and found some info from Wikipedia and it does provide this information:

There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees (267 species are dipterocarps), 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo (MacKinnon et al. 1998). It is also the centre of evolution and radiation of many endemic species of plants and animals.

However, in the past few years, there are more species has been discovered by biologist and I found this article in WWF (http://www.panda.org/index.cfm?uNewsID=89620) websites. I quote a little bit from this article and if to read more go to the sites. This news is in 2006 so it means there is a lot more adding into the Bornean species since now is 2008.

“At least 52 new species of animals and plants have been identified this past year on the island of Borneo, according to scientists.

The discoveries, described in a report compiled by WWF, include 30 unique fish species, two tree frog species, 16 ginger species, three tree species and one large-leafed plant species.

WWF says that these findings further highlight the need to conserve the habitat and species of the world’s third largest island.

As one of the local people of Borneo, Sarawak particularly, I feel it is a wakeup call for our own people to consider and think deeply on the needs of conservation (whatever we have in our forest). Development is a good things to be done because we don’t want to be left behind by the develop country. My personal thought is that, we can’t fight the development but we can HELP the developer (e.g. the leader of the state, country or any other stakeholders that involve in any kind of development – plantations, mills, etc) by working together with them. As far as I know, these developers always claim that NGOs or researcher is against development and always become threat to them to run their projects. Maybe because they don’t know why squirrels are important to the ecology? Or why we need peat swamp forest? I am not good in all of this but we have experts in every field that can help.

Hmm..i am not sure what message that want to share here but my main interests is that I don’t want Sarawak forest to be bulldoze and convert into plantations before we be able to know what we have inside our forest.

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