Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the richest terrestrial ecosystem in the world. It is said that the Bornean rainforests are around 130 million years old, the oldest on the planet. By sequestrating carbon, they are acting as an important carbon sink and contribute to reducing the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. The multiple researches show, that the rainforests in Borneo sink three times more of carbon dioxide than those in Amazon.
According to the reports and scientific analysis, approximately 18.7 million hectares (an area twice the size of Portugal) of forest was cleared between 1973 and 2015. Palm oil cultivation has been, and still is, the driving force behind the Malaysia’s economy, but a disaster to its environment. In Malaysian Borneo, the link between deforestation and palm oil cultivation is the most apparent: 4.2 million hectares, or 28 percent, of its original forest cover was lost between 1973 and 2015, and up to 60 percent of the cleared land was rapidly converted to the palm oil plantations. This is the devastating evidence of the careless, frequently corrupt, economy. Clouded leopards, orangutans, and pygmy elephants, and one of the tallest trees, Shorea Faguetiana of 94.1 meter height, with a very distinctive the broccoli-shaped crown, alongside with thousands of other endemic animals, insects and plants, might be gone in less than a decade. The accumulating CO2 emissions, the changing climate coupled with the reckless deforestation contribute to the irreversible damage to the environment.
As well as Borneo's importance in biodiversity conservation and as a carbon sink, the forests have significance for water security and food sovereignty for local communities of indigenous people. Not less important is the protection of there pagan belief systems which are deeply rooted in and connected to nature. Indigenous peoples of Malaysia have been impacted by logging without their free, prior and informed consent in their ancestral forests. Largely sustainable and communal ways of living maintained by the tribe people do act as a counterpoint to the destructive excesses of the many highly developed regions and countries.