Hornbill Unleashed

February 21, 2012

Malaysia Deforestation Is Three Times Faster Than Rest Of Asia Combined

Filed under: Logging — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:48 PM
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TreeNew satellite imagery shows Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils of the Sarawak coast are being stripped even faster, according to a study released Tuesday.

The report commissioned by the Netherlands-based Wetlands International says Malaysia is uprooting an average 2 percent of the rain forest a year on Sarawak, its largest state on the island of Borneo, or nearly 10 percent over the last five years. Most of it is being converted to palm oil plantations, it said.

The deforestation rate for all of Asia during the same period was 2.8 percent, it said.

In the last five years, 353,000 hectares (872,263 acres) of Malaysia’s peatlands were deforested, or one-third of the swamps which have stored carbon from decomposed plants for millions of years.

“We never knew exactly what was happening in Malaysia and Borneo,” said Wetlands spokesman Alex Kaat. “Now we see there is a huge expansion (of deforestation) with annual rates that are beyond imagination.”

The study was carried out by SarVision, a satellite monitoring and mapping company that originated with scientists at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

“Total deforestation in Sarawak is 3.5 times as much as that for entire Asia, while deforestation of peat swamp forest is 11.7 times as much,” the report said.

Malaysia’s peatland forests are home to several endangered animals, including the Borneo Pygmy elephant and the Sumatran rhino, as well as rare timber species and unique vegetation

Kaat said the study showed deforestation was progressing far faster than the Malaysian government has acknowledged.

Scientists say the destruction of the Amazon, the rain forests of central Africa and in Southeast Asia accounts for more than 15 percent of human-caused carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

Live forests soak up carbon from the atmosphere, while burning trees release that stored carbon – contributing to climate change in two ways at once. But emissions effect is amplified when trees are felled from the peatlands and the swamps are drained for commercial plantations.

Malaysia and Indonesia produce about 85 percent of the world’s palm oil, an ingredient in cooking oil, cosmetics, soaps, bread, and chocolate. It also is used as an industrial lubricant and was once considered an ideal biofuel alternative to fossil fuel, but it has fallen out of favor because of earlier reports of widespread rainforest destruction for the expansion of plantations.

Indonesia has pledged to slow deforestation in its territory, and last year Norway pledged to give Jakarta $1 billion a year to help finance an independent system of monitoring and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions.



  1. Oh those poor poor birds, animals and the flora of the great rainforests. Taib does not have the need or the urge to go debating with anyone. He’s c…… shit. All he wants is money in his pocket. I doubt he can see that all that money is useful only in this life which is short. In the afterlife, there’s not currency to be gotten. Why do evil demons like this person exist in this world? And even if this planet did have to bear the burden of supporting this little piece of s…, why did he have to go and have so much power that even he doesn’t know what to do with it?

    Comment by Kala — February 24, 2012 @ 2:37 PM | Reply

  2. Taib Mahmud should be brave enough to refute the report and debate with Opposition in Sarawak on the allegation. Did not assistant minister YB Daud proclaim that BN Sarawak was ready to debate with Opposition?

    Comment by Sazali Ismail — February 21, 2012 @ 10:12 PM | Reply

  3. 5th Division Virgin Forest left behind is part of Mulu National Park….. the rest all gone.

    4th Division…… another part of Mulu National park and Pulun Tauh Forest reserves. Even then Samling enroached into the foothill Tama Abu range (part of Pulung Tauh) via Selaan; when confronted by the Penan only then they stop. Various complaint been made and to-date nothing been done by SFC. You can clearly see it also on Google Earth. The rest all gone…

    Now, the govt approves the main road to Bario via Long Bangga.

    1. Why do they need a road to Bario through Long Bangga…going up river then making a 100s Km U-Turn?

    2. Why not just maintained the current road going through Ramudu to Long Dano/Padalih/Bario which is much nearer and easier to because the road is already exist?

    3. Why need to construct a road going through Batu Patung….. the only inhabitan here are Cow’s (Water Buffalo’s)!

    4. Why not maintain the current road which is less the 20KM from the main road/Metapa Bridge? If the road is construct; the next village with inhabitant be Pa Dalih which is probably more then 50-80KM.

    Comment by Rod — February 21, 2012 @ 7:59 PM | Reply

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