Buttress roots reach out wide into the Borneo rainforest floor to support an ancient tree, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2012 The buttresses, scientists believe, are necessary to support the tree in such thin soil. This tropical rainforest more so than any other on the planet is best viewed as a single living organism.  Cut down this forest and it WILL NOT grow back, and there is guaranteed local climate change. Guaranteed. These tropical forests are the lungs of the planet. So, global climate change is adversely effected as well.   
 The Borneo end game:  After several passes of loggers, a final clear cut, now a monoculture oil palm plantation is planted on what for centuries was the hunting ground for the indigenous Iban Dayak people to whom it is now off limits.  2012  Oil palm is used to make bio-fuel, cosmetics, bread, cookies, chocolate, instant noodles, shampoo and much more.  In fact, it is hard to get through the day without consuming palm oil in some form.    This Borneo rainforest could not regenerate here, even if this land were left alone.  The topsoil has washed away, and the most complex ecosystem in the world has been obliterated.  The temperature surges, merging from the cool forest onto an oil palm plantation.    Indigenous Dayak peoples, from the Iban, to the Kelabit, Kayan and Penan, all talk about temperatures in Borneo rising and of diminished rains since the time that intensive logging and land conversion to oil palm plantations began four decades ago.   Lambir Hills, Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo.
 Penan clan from Long Kelamu build a barricade to block loggers from Samling Global Limited from accessing one of the very last tracts of virgin forest in the Malaysian state of Sarawak that is not part of a national park.  2010  According to Forbes Magazine, Samling's father & son owners, Yaw Teck Seng & Yaw Chee Ming have an estimated worth of US$ 480 million.  According to Survival International, there are roughly 10,000 to 12,000 traditionally nomadic Penan living in the forests of Sarawak now in settled communities.   The per capita GDP in Malaysia is US$ 6,970 (World Bank).  Even if, taking the upper figure of 12,000, all the Penan people earned the per capita GDP of US$ 6970, which these forest dwellers who are only marginally participating in the cash economy.
 Adonia, a young Penan hunter, takes a shot at a small bird with his blow pipe in the primary Borneo forest that surrounds Long Benali, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2011  Adonia, like most Penan I met, are well aware of the outside world and what is happening to them but remain completely committed to protecting their way of life, living now as semi-nomadic peoples with small villages but a strong tie to the forest. 
 Clear cutting Borneo's rainforest (bottom half of photograph) for conversion to oil palm plantations (top right quarter of frame) seen from the air. Near Marudi, Sarawak, Malaysia.  Oil palm plantations are impoverished "green deserts".  Sarawak's plan is to the become the #1 state in Malaysia in oil palm production.  That is very bad news for Sarawak's forests and the people living in them.  2010  Lian Pin Koh and David S. Wilcove of Princeton University, analyzing data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, found that 55-59 percent of oil palm expansion in Malaysia, used in part to produce bio fuel, spread at the expense of the rainforest.  Between 1990 and 2005 the area of oil palm plantations in Malaysia more than doubled to 3.6 million hectares while Malaysia correspondingly lost roughly 1.5 million hectares of forest.
 The Long Kelamu headman is reduced to tears talking about loggers destroying their forest.  The topic of logging dominates local Penan and Kelabit communities' daily conversations, as the Long Kelamu clan discuss construction of the new barricade the next day on a second logging road used by logging company Samling Global Ltd. which wants to conduct logging operations in one of Sarawaks very last unprotected old growth forests.  2010  The Penan of Long Kelamu had already built another barricade on another of the area's elaborate network of logging roads snaking through their traditional hunting and gathering grounds.    
 Balang Weng, a Penan man, walks along logging road used by Samling Global Ltd. as it cuts deeper into the interior rainforest of Sarawak north of Long Lellang, Malaysia.  2010
 White water shoots 20 m (65 ft.) or more into the air from Bakun Dam, which blocks the mightly Rejang River.  Sarawak, Malaysia.  2012  Once highly controversial pet project of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and now a fait accompli, the Bakun is the world's second largest concrete faced rock-filled dam.  It put 700 square km (270 square miles) under water, clear cutting the 100 million year old rainforest that covered that area, and the displacement of about 10,000 residents, most of whom are indigenous people.  The dam's purpose was to meet the increasing electricity needs of Malaysia but the need was not in Sarawak but on the peninsula, where there is also an oversupply of electricity.  The state government of Sarawak is not finished with dam building.  Despite the huge over capacity in the state and country as a whole, another mega-dam has been proposed for the Baram River further to the west.
 Barge piled with logs from the Borneo interior is brought to one of the saw mills that line the Batang (River) Kemena.  Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia.    According to the United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), 2004 World Database on Protected Areas Malaysia lost an average of 78,500 hectares of forest per year between 1990 and 2000.
 Twice-weekly propellor plane prepares to land on the jungle airstrip in Long Lellang, its only regular connection for this village in the heart of Borneo to the outside world.  Sarawak, Malaysia.  2011
 The Baram River, the jungle thoroughfare for the indigenous Dayak peoples, snakes through the last great forest in Southeast Asia, the interior forest of Borneo, and into Penan territory.  Not long ago, the Baram River and its tributaries were the only way from the Kelabits and the Penan to travel to the coast from Long Lellang.  The journey took 10 days.  For a couple of decades, tons of top soil, mostly washed away because intensive logging operations which exposes the earth to torrential rains in this watershed have turned the waters the color of cafe latte.  2011
 Looking down on intensive "selective" logging in the heart of the Penan homeland near Gunung Mulu National Park.  Sarawak, Malaysia.
 Workers, mostly Indonesians of dubious visa status, cut logs from the Borneo rainforest into planks of lumber for export in one of the sawmills that line the banks of Batang (River) Kemena, Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia.  That means that much of the oil palm and logging business does not create jobs for Malaysians.
 Garbage and debris washed down from sawmills that line the banks of Batang (River) Kemena to the waterfront of Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2010  Despite how solid it looks the PET bottles and scraps of lumber are actually floating on water.
 Kelabit man holds the skull of a helmeted hornbill, an endangered species, delivered to his house freshly killed by a Penan hunter.  The bird's are valued for hornbill ivory found in their thick bill and their long tail feathers, which are used as decoration for Dayak people's ceremonial headwear.  Despite being one of several species of hornbill indigenous to Borneo, the Kelabit do not consider it a hornbill and have a separate name for the helmeted hornbill, "bonudun".  Long Lellang, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2011    Despite seeing posters, distributed by the Malaysian government, with illustrations depicting protected animals and the fines for killing them, any animal still seem to be fair game to local hunters.
 Penan men, Dennis (L) and Adonia (R), walk down a logging road, one of a network of logging roads used by Shin Yang Group to "selectively" log 6 months before.  Bulldozers ripped straight up the mountain to cut down the biggest  rainforest trees as quickly as possible.  Now they have left behind a wounded forest, arboreal debris strewn all along the perimeter of this road, through once-productive hunting grounds for the Penan across the Akah River in Long Benali.  The numbers of wild animals, like wild boars, monkeys, deer, hornbills, etc. have dropped off precipitously.  In the heart of the Borneo Rainforest, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2011
 In his element: Balang Weng, a Penan man, scans the rainforest canopy where he heard a crashing sound for an unseen macaque (monkey).  The Borneo rainforest, 2 1/2 hours walk from Long Kelamu, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2010  The Penan used to roam the rainforest following game or fruit that was in season as nomads.  This is no longer possible because selective logging has pulled out important trees, damaged the soil, silts up rivers reducing food for the Penan, fish in streams and prey animals on the forest floor and in the canopy.  Now, they can no longer sustain themselves from the forest alone and supplement their diet with rice bought from the nearest towns, like Long Lellang.  
 Bujang Tepeu is one of the few Penan who still wears heavy earrings from his distended earlobes, once a signature ornamentation for many of the Dayak peoples of Borneo.  His hair is still cropped in the traditional manner for Penan men.  2010
 A long driveway much like a highway on-ramp leads up to a new mansion which lords over a modest ethnic Malay kampong (village), owned by a member of the family which owns Shin Yang Group, logging conglomerate.  Luak Bay, just north of Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.  Shin Yang has leveled vast swathes of Borneo rainforest.  Fuchow-Chinese-Malaysian tycoon, Ling Chiong Ho founded the Shin Yang Group with his brothers, Ling Chiong Sing, Ling Chiong Pin, Ling  2011 Chiong Sieng, and brought his son, Ling Lu Kang, onto the board of directors.  Ling Chiong Ho is also Group Executive Chairman of Sarawak Oil Palms Berhad (SOPB) and brother, Ling Chiong Sing is Non-Executive Director there.   
 Security sign at the entrance to the sea front estate of the owner of Shin Yang Group leaves little doubt what would happen to an intruder should they enter the grounds of the estate of the owner that is logging over the Borneo rainforest has built.  Luak Bay, south of Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia.  2010   
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