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Rescooped by Philip van der Walt from Amazing Science!

80% of Borneo's Rain Forest is Logged, only Brunei is Protecting All Its Forest

80% of Borneo's Rain Forest is Logged, only Brunei is Protecting All Its Forest | library as platform |

Over the last several decades, tropical forests have been cleared and degraded at an accelerating rate, with losses contributing to what is likely to be the sixth global mass extinction in Earth’s history. Deforestation refers to the replacement of forests with different land cover types such as crops or grassland, and forest degradation refers to the substantial reduction of biomass, usually by the removal of big trees, whilst retaining sufficient tree cover to still be classified as ‘forest’. Logging and fire are the major causes of forest degradation in the tropics. Between 2000 and 2005, roughly 27 million hectares of forest in the tropics were cleared, largely for timber or agricultural plantations or crops, and over much the same time period, approximately 398 million hectares were allocated to the industrial logging industry.


The loss and degradation of tropical forests is of great concern because these systems are among the most biodiverse places remaining on Earth - they provide habitat for many species, contain a rich array of plant and animal life not found elsewhere, and play a major role in regulating local as well as global climate and weather patterns. Large rainforest trees are often long lived, with ages commonly exceeding many hundreds of years. These big trees are important for ecosystem health, providing a source of seeds and fruits for species propagation, as well as habitat for a wide range of other organisms. Degradation of primary forest ecosystems, especially by logging, results not only in the disproportionate loss of large trees and the ecosystem functions they provide, but also causes substantial collateral damage to residual vegetation, carbon emissions, damage to soils and waterways, with repeated harvests resulting in progressive degradation. Intact forests, or forests that have not been degraded, are central to sustaining biodiversity.


The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak are global hotspots of tropical deforestation. These two states in the north of the island of Borneo are also centers of the tropical oil palm and industrial logging industries, with Sarawak in particular being the place of origin for many Malaysian logging companies that now operate in Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, tropical Africa and Guyana, amongst other places. In many countries these companies are responsible for unsustainable harvesting and short-term profit maximization. Unsustainable and damaging logging practices, often followed by the conversion of logged forest to oil palm and timber plantations, are particular problems in Sabah and Sarawak.


In contrast to the situation in Sabah and Sarawak, the neighbouring petroleum-rich nation of Brunei has charted a different path, shunning wide-scale intensive logging and oil palm plantations in favor of preserving forest ecosystems. Given the known differences in agro-timber industries among these jurisdictions, it is timely to examine the condition of forests in these regions, and the outcome of the alternative forest-protecting pathway taken by Brunei.



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Miss Webb's curator insight, September 23, 2013 8:45 PM

Maps of palm oil in Malaysia

Rescooped by Philip van der Walt from The Information Professional!

New Librarianship and the Library as Platform

"New Librarianship and the Library as Platform" Ticer 15th International Summer School on Digital Libraries 2012, Tillburg, Netherlands. Abstract: Change in academic libraries is nothing new."


"In his most recent lecture presented in Tillburg, Netherlands, R. David Lankes enjoins librarians to be "active in online education, new models of student learning, and helping the faculty adjust to disruptive change."  Furthermore, he suggests, "Rather than being the heart of the university centered on a collection, libraries must become hubs that spread new practice throughout the organization."


View the presentation here:


Via Fe Angela M. Verzosa, Karen du Toit
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