Tag Archives: a Malaysian state
For most people, Borneo conjures up images of a wild and distant land of rainforests, exotic beasts, and nomadic tribes. But that place increasingly exists only in one’s imagination, for the forests of the world’s third-largest island have been rapidly and relentlessly logged, burned, and bulldozed in recent decades, leaving only a sliver of its once-magnificent forests intact.
Flying over Sabah, a Malaysian state that covers about 10 percent of Borneo, the damage is clear. Oil palm plantations have metastasized across the landscape. Where forest remains, it is usually degraded. Rivers flow brown with mud. The fate of one sprawling tract of rainforest in Sabah, originally designed to be selectively logged and provide steady income for the people of the state, tells the tale of what has happened to Borneo’s forests — and highlights a possible path to restore some of them.