The third largest island in the world, Borneo was once home to a staggering range of biological diversity covering hundreds of thousands of square kilometers. The lush tropical forests of the island are now almost entirely extinct as a result of deforestation. Many rare species are declared extinct, including orangutans – some of the smartest monkeys. photography
One of the largest islands in the world,Borneo is located east of the Malay Peninsula, in the large Sunda Islands. She is bathed by theSouth China Sea to the northwest and, turning clockwise, through the Sulu Sea, the Celebes Sea, the Macassar Strait and the Java Sea .Kalimantan, which covers three quarters of the island, belongs toIndonesia. TheSarawak and theSabah, located respectively on the north-west coast and at the northern tip of the island, and that separates the two enclaves of the Sultanate of Brunei , were attached to theMalaysia Borneo in 1963 were at the beginning of XXI th century about 12 million.
Very mountainous, the island is mainly covered with dense tropical forests. The Borneo (and the islets around it) is 1,336 kilometers north-east to south-west and has a maximum width of 960 kilometers and covers some 740,000 square kilometers. A south-west-north-east chain, which rises to almost 4,100 meters at Kinabalu, crosses the island
The tropical forests and climate of Borneo provide ideal conditions for a wide variety of species to thrive. Around swamps, mangroves, lowland forests and mountains, more than 15,000 plants, including 6,000 endemic, can be found. Among the species that the island shelters are the orangutans and elephants of Borneo as well as giant carnivorous plants with passive traps and rafflesies. The food chain is also made up of thousands of plants, lichens and fungi, which feed a wide range of species.
The “heart of Borneo” is the main part of the island where the forests have remained intact. Covering an area the size of England and Scotland combined and spanning several countries (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia), this area forms one of the largest transboundary tropical forests still observable in the world.
But the “Heart of Borneo” is not only a treasure trove of biodiversity, it is also a source of life and livelihood for indigenous people, a real ecological treasure for the 11 million or so Bornians, including a million Native dayaks settled in these forests. One of the main drivers of deforestation in the “heart of Borneo” and Kalimantan is the growth of oil palm plantations in response to the global demand for palm oil . In Indonesia, oil palm production increased from 600,000 hectares in 1985 to more than 6 million hectares in 2007. These crops pose a risk of extinction of hundreds of species and impact watersheds. The main rivers of Borneo originate in the “heart of Borneo” and the preservation of forests is essential to ensure the water supply of the island, moderate the effects of droughts and fires and support the economic and ecological stability in the plains.
The main attractions of the island are located away from the cities – National Park Muluwith the longest in the world of limestone caves in which are held even scuba diving, numerous villages Dayak and other local tribes, reserve Samongkok , orangutan sanctuary in Sepilok , caves Niah , Offshore Sabah Reserve on the island of Labuan, Abdul Rahman national park , excellent trekking trails and caves in the area of Mount Kinabalu (4095 m), and numerous dive sites and ecological routes etc. Jungle Island.