AA Inter 3

Letter: A logged forest in Borneo is better than none at all by tutor
December 12, 2016, 11:56 am
Filed under: 2016-17

I found this article/letter response while researching Borneo forest. More to come in order to prepare us to understand and consider land/enviroment issues from many perspectives. Agree/disagree? Why?

Reading below:

SIR — We welcome your encouragement for integrating conservation with other land use in Borneo (“Timber and tapirs” Nature 446, 583–584; 2007). However, your picture of rampant logging and forest destruction in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) requires modification. Many Indonesian timber companies now contribute to conservation. About 10% of Borneo is under strict protection. If no more than this forest is maintained, habitat loss and fragmentation will have a severe impact on many rare and wide-ranging species such as the Bornean clouded leopard Neofelis diardi, or the endangered Storm’s stork Ciconia stormi. Maintenance of any additional forest offers numerous potential conservation benefits. With half of Borneo’s remaining forests, about 200,000 square kilometres, under active forestry concessions, these areas are of key conservation importance. For example, we estimate that 75% of the Bornean orangutans Pongo pygmaeus live in forest concessions. Given political realities, extensive forest areas will endure only if they yield economic benefits. Production forestry in Borneo’s rain forests is selective: only a few trees are removed from each hectare, and what remains is still forest. We recently reviewed how such practices affect Borneo’s wildlife (E. Meijaard et al. Life after Logging CIFOR, 2005). We found that, for forest fauna, logged forest is considerably better than no forest. Strict protection status currently makes little difference to forest loss in Kalimantan (L. M. Curran et al. Science 303, 1000–1003; 2004). This reflects the challenge of patrolling and managing extensive areas with limited resources. In contrast, many timber companies have the capacity to manage and protect large areas of forest — and it makes good business sense to do so. Timber companies wish to access the burgeoning ‘green market’ in certified timber. Four Indonesian natural forest concessions have already achieved internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council standards, and more are trying to do so. This demonstrates a commitment to conservation-friendly management. Our monitoring of one of these concessions implies forest losses below 0.1% per year, compared with the Kalimantan average of 2% (D. O. Fuller et al. Conserv. Biol. 18, 249–254; 2004). We urge wider recognition and support for such conservation hopes. Without this support, forests will continue to disappear. Erik Meijaard*, Douglas Sheil† *The Nature Conservancy, Indonesia Forest Program, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia †Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia

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