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Saving One Of The Greatest Places Remaining In The World Today: Borneo
To clear more land for palm plantations, Borneo’s impressive rain forest is being destroyed. To protect one of the last ancient forests on earth, consumers of chocolate bars and toothpaste, and other products made using palm oil have an important role to play. After petroleum, the most important oil in the modern consumer market is palm oil. The palm oil production industry has an annual turnover of 50 billion dollars. From Nutella, margarine, shampoo and cookies, to toothpaste and lipstick, palm oil is used in the production of a variety of products in marketed in Australia, Europe and North America. Without it, chocolate bars would look like mud, as it gives them their delicious sheen. In India, ghee, which is known to clog arteries, is no longer the main cooking oil, instead being replaced by palm oil. The oil, which is extracted from the nuts of palm oil trees – referred to as Elias guyanensis in the scientific world, is from West Africa originally but is now grown within 10 degrees south and north of the equator, pan-tropically – is in high demand in India. Many trees with double-winged fruits, dipterocarps, growing in tropical lowland areas, and characterised by “emergents” that rise above the canopy singly are native to Borneo. Of the 500 species known species in existence, 380 of them can be found in Mount Kinabalu alone. One of the tallest tropical trees in the world, rising to a height of 290 feet, Shorea faguetana, is one of the 250 species that are only found in Borneo. Logging companies, mostly from China, are always in search of 10 of the emergent dipterocar species, due to their attractive hardwood. Recently, Japan has been overtaken by China as the largest market for Borneo’s lumber. This ancient forest is considered to be the native origin of the gigantic Rajah Brooke bird wing and other awesome moths and butterflies. The Pongo Pygmaeus – a unique orangutang hailing from the Sumatran, Bornean pygmy elephant, Bornean wild pig and pygmy rhino all come from this part of the world. Due to the fact that 97% of our genes are shared by orang-utans, in addition to the interesting facial similarities, it is easy to have an inter-species experience with them. The island is also home to hunters and gatherers who have more than 1,200 names for various trees and still use blowguns for hunting. Until about 2 generations ago, these hunters and gatherers still believed that ours is among the 9 worlds in the universe. In addition to having 1,200 names for various trees and their associated spirits, these natives also leave a hundred different signs of folded leaves and bent branches in the forest for each other and use blowguns when hunting. The sounding off of cicadas at six o’clock, singing of birds, rattling of insects, hooting of gibbons and singing of bulbuls mark the start and end of each day of the year. The saddest of extinctions, where species are completely wiped off the face of the earth before their discovery, continues to take place. The need to ban the burning of peat forests is non-negotiable. However, with all the corruption around this matter, it is difficult to verify, on the ground, that deforestation has been stopped and forested areas along watercourses and wildlife corridors have been left. Before they are even discovered, species are being wiped out, day by day. The world is still a long way from sustainably producing palm oil. Laundered logging and palm oil profits linked to a long-serving chief minister, his family and close associates have been traced to an Arizona Desert gated golf course community and Ottawa condo complex have been discovered after investigations carried out be a Swiss NGO, Bruno Manser Fonds; support their cause. With regard to the expanding cultivation of palm oil along the Equator and Borneo, to be more specific, keep up with the latest updates. However, it is unfortunate to note that the complicity of modern consumers in this bio-cultural destruction is only known to a few.