Malaysian Rain Forests Disappearing At Alarming Rate

Published by: The Claw on 1st Feb 2011 | View all blogs by The Claw
Malaysian Rain Forests Disappearing At Alarming Rate

A study commissioned by the Netherlands-based Wetlands International shows that Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils on the Sarawak coast are disappearing even faster.

The report indicates the country is uprooting an average of 2 percent of its rain forests each year in Sarawak, the nation's largest state on the island of Borneo.  Most of the land is being developed as palm oil plantations.  Over the last ten years, 10 percent of Malaysia's rain forests have disappeared, compared to just 2.8 percent of rain forests across Asia.

The study was conducted with the help of SarVision, a satellite monitoring and mapping company that was started by scientists at the Netherlands' Wageningen University.  Malaysia's peatland forests are home to a number of endangered species, including the Sumatran rhinocerous and Borneo Pygmy elephant, as well as rare timber species and unique vegetation.

Scientists attribute the destruction of rain forests around the world with more than 15 percent of human-caused carbon emissions believed to be causing global warming.  Forests soak up carbon from the atmosphere, while burning trees emit that stored carbon.  This translates to the destruction of rain forests contributing to climate change in two ways at the same time.

The Claw

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