Thursday, November 15, 2007

Law enforcement key to saving Borneo's rainforests -- an interview with Borneo scientist Rhett Harrison

Law enforcement key to saving Borneo's rainforests
An interview with Borneo scientist Rhett Harrison
Rhett A. Butler,
November 13, 2007


In an interview with, Dr. Rhett Harrison, a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) associate researcher and Secretary for the Asia-Pacific Chapter of ATBC, says that law enforcement could be the key to safeguarding biodiversity contained in Borneo's lowland parks.

"Simply investing in protecting the existing protected area system and enforcing wildlife protection laws would achieve far more [than "Heart of Borneo]," he said. "If the current protected area systems were actually protected things wouldn't be so bad. However, throughout Borneo hunting and wildlife collecting are rampant (both inside and outside protected areas), and in parts of Kalimantan (Indonesia) you even have logging in some parks."

Harrison, who is helping organize the 2008 ATBC-Asia-Pacific Chapter meeting in Kuching on sustainable land use, further states that there may be opportunities for conservationists to work with oil palm to developers to ensure that existing forests are not converted for plantations and that palm oil can be produced in a sustainable manner. He adds that carbon offsets may eventually offer a means to fund conservation and sustainable development efforts in areas that still have standing forest.

read interview here
Image: Forest clearing near Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan. Courtesy of Google Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment