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Death Throes of a Great Rainforest - Drowned forest exposed because of drought, Batang Ai Reservoir, Sarawak (Borneo), Malaysia.
Introduction: ?For hundreds of miles in every direction, wrote English naturalist and Darwin-contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace of Borneo, ?a magnificent forest extended over plain and mountain, rock and morass?. Frayed remnants of the oldest evergreen rainforest on the planet extend in a crescent from the Malay Peninsula, covering Borneo Island and parts of western Indonesia on up to the top of the Philippine Archipelago. ..More often than not, my eyes have registered logging roads extending into this forest, if there is any left. Often only sparse grasses cover bare hills where the forest Wallace described once stood. Industrialized logging is mostly to blame benefiting very few, leaving impoverished masses to live with the consequences. The burden falls heaviest on the poor, especially indigenous minorities who had relied for thousands of years on sustainable harvesting of natural forest resources. In the worst cases, entire peoples? livelihood and heritage have been shattered. Some of these peoples have even turned to armed conflict and others have turned on migrant outsiders, poor in their own right, who have infiltrated their homelands, after the loggers have left, to exploit the already ravaged land in the name of development and progress...This essay is an exploration of the exploitation, transmigration and civil repercussions within what remains of this once great rainforest...Death Throes of a Great Rainforest - Drowned forest exposed because of drought, Batang Ai Reservoir, Sarawak (Borneo), Malaysia. Batang Ai Dam Project forced 3,000 Iban Dayak people to .relocate while flooding 8,500 hectares of their forest homeland..
- James Whitlow Delano
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- 3600x2367 / 2.9MB