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Borneo - Born to Be Wild

Malaysian Borneo's parks and reserves

Borneo is a lush, forested island in the Malay archipelago. The biodiverse rainforests, rugged ranges and surrounding seas are home to some of the world's most unique animals including the pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, sun bear, giant turtle and orangutan as well as dozens of species yet to be discovered. It is also the traditional home of dozens of ethnic tribes.

The island of Borneo, which at almost 750,000km2 is one of the largest in the world, is shared by 3 nations: Malaysia (Sarawak and Sabah), Indonesia (Kalimantan) and the Islamic sultanate of Brunei.

Although the island is sparsely populated and difficult to navigate, it has unfortunately been devastated by industry, particularly by Palm Oil agriculture where the natural forests are torn down and replaced with plantations of the notorious African palm. This deforestation, and other factors, has lead to the extinction of some species - such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros and Bornean Tiger - and has left numerous other species endangered.

Conservation efforts are being made. There are a number of declared national parks, marine reserves, conservation foundations and rehabilitation parks. The march of industry is not inevitable. In fact, eco-tourism may prove a lucrative reason to preserve the remaining rainforests and its inhabitants.


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