Forest CoverTotal forest area: 278,000 ha % of land area: 52.8%
Primary forest cover: 278,000 ha % of land area: 52.8% % total forest area: 100.0%
Deforestation Rates, 2000-2005Annual change in forest cover: -2,000 ha Annual deforestation rate: -0.7% Change in defor. rate since '90s: -13.1% Total forest loss since 1990: -35,000 ha Total forest loss since 1990:-11.2%
Primary or "Old-growth" forests Annual loss of primary forests: -2000 ha Annual deforestation rate: -0.7% Change in deforestation rate since '90s: -13.1% Primary forest loss since 1990: -10,000 ha Primary forest loss since 1990:-11.2%
Forest ClassificationPublic: 100% Private: 0% Other: n/a Use Production: 62.6% Protection: 6.8% Conservation: 29.1% Social services: 1.4% Multiple purpose: n/a None or unknown: n/a
Forest Area BreakdownTotal area: 278,000 ha Primary: 278,000 ha Modified natural: n/a Semi-natural: n/a Production plantation: n/a Production plantation: n/a
PlantationsPlantations, 2005: n/a % of total forest cover: n/a Annual change rate (00-05): n/a
Carbon storageAbove-ground biomass: 63 M t Below-ground biomass: 15 M t
Area annually affected byFire: n/a Insects: n/a Diseases: n/a
Number of tree species in IUCN red listNumber of native tree species: 2,000 Critically endangered: 37 Endangered: 24 Vulnerable: 31
Despite its size, Brunei supports a variety of forest types due to its varied topography and geology. Brunei's forests are largely intact (almost 100 percent are virgin, according to U.N. data), although environmentalists worry logging may increase in this tiny country's primary rainforests, especially once its offshore oil and gas reserves begin to wane. Currently, Brunei enjoys a high standard of living and is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that does not export timber. Recently the dry el Niño conditions contributed to the spread of fires sparked by slash-and-burn agriculture that burned more than 24,700 acres (10,000 hectares) of forest. Though forest burning has been banned since 1951, slash-and-burn agriculture is the primary means of clearing land for agriculture in Brunei. Breaking this forestry law is punishable by a maximum fine of $300. The government reacted to the fires by initiating a public-awareness campaign on fire safety and protecting forest biodiversity.
The government has otherwise made a strong commitment to conservation: more than 50 percent of the country is officially under some form of protection and the government has taken an active role in reducing logging activities. Brunei has some 6,000 species of plants, 455 birds, 157 mammals, and 73 reptiles.
Despite government efforts to prevent deforestation, Brunei lost 11.2 percent of its forests between 1990 and 2005.
Rainforest loss increased in the 2000s, concludes new analysis
(02/25/2015) Loss of tropical forests accelerated roughly 60 percent during the 2000s, argues a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings contradict previous research suggesting that deforestation slowed since the 1990s. The study is based on a map of 1990 forest cover developed last year by Do-Hyung Kim and colleagues from the University of Maryland. The map, which includes 34 countries that contain 80 percent of the world's tropical forests, enabled the researchers to establish a consistent baseline for tracking forest cover change across regions and countries over time.
Cunning carnivorous plants catch more prey by letting some go
(02/25/2015) Pitcher plants (Nepenthes species) have long captivated our fascination. Typically growing in acidic and nutrient-poor soils, they have developed the ability to eat insects and other small prey to supplement their diets. Nepenthes grow modified leaf structures which form a saucer cup with a slippery rim lined with visual or edible bait. When an insect approaches to investigate the reward, they slip off the rim and into the cup which is usually filled with a viscoelastic fluid. Unable to escape, the prey is slowly digested and absorbed by the plant.
Half of Borneo's mammals could lose a third of their habitat by 2080
(01/22/2015) Borneo consistently makes the list of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots” – areas full of a wide variety of forms of life found nowhere else, but which are also under threat. To better understand the hazards, a study published today in the journal Current Biology examines the effects of climate change and deforestation in the coming decades on mammals living on the island.
Bizarre lizard newest victim of reptile pet trade
(09/15/2014) If you've never heard of the earless monitor lizard, you're not alone: this cryptic lizard has long-escaped the attention of the larger public. But over the past couple years its bizarre appearance has been splashed across social media sites for reptile collectors. While this decidedly-quirky attention may seem benign, it could actually threaten the species' existence.
30% of Borneo's rainforests destroyed since 1973
(07/16/2014) More than 30 percent of Borneo's rainforests have been destroyed over the past forty years due to fires, industrial logging, and the spread of plantations, finds a new study that provides the most comprehensive analysis of the island's forest cover to date. The research, published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, shows that just over a quarter of Borneo's lowland forests remain intact.
Brunei to limit agricultural land use to 1 percent
(05/25/2014) The tiny, but densely forested country of Brunei Darussalam says it will limit agricultural conversion to one percent of its land mass, preserving much of the rest for biodiversity and other services afforded by healthy forest ecosystems.
Environmental groups: top secret Pacific trade agreement to sacrifice wildlife, environment
(01/16/2014) Environmental groups have blasted draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) released yesterday by WikiLeaks as potentially devastating to the environment and wildlife. The massive 12-nation free trade agreement has been negotiated in secret now for almost four years, and the information release by WikiLeaks shows that key environmental safeguards in the agreement are being stripped away, including a ban on shark finning and illegal logging, as well as legally-enforced pollution regulations.
80% of rainforests in Malaysian Borneo logged
(07/17/2013) 80 percent of the rainforests in Malaysian Borneo have been heavily impacted by logging, finds a comprehensive study that offers the first assessment of the spread of industrial logging and logging roads across areas that were considered some of Earth's wildest lands less than 30 years ago. The research, conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Tasmania, University of Papua New Guinea, and the Carnegie Institution for Science, is based on analysis of satellite data using Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (CLASlite), a freely available platform for measuring deforestation and forest degradation. It estimated the state of the region's forests as of 2009.
Indonesia: Kalimantan's Lowland Peat Forests Explained
(12/04/2009) Earth's tropical rainforests are a critical
component of the world's carbon cycle yet cover only about 12% of its
terrestrial land. Accounting for 40% of the world's terrestrial carbon and 50%
of the world's gross primary productivity,.
the production of organic compounds primarily through photosynthesis, tropical
rainforests also are one of the engines driving Earth's atmospheric circulation
Experts: Borneo in urgent need of protection
(05/23/2007) A prominent group of 1500 scientists in over 70 countries have called for the urgent conservation of Borneo's forests, which are fast-disappearing on the southeast Asian island due to logging, fires, and conversion for oil palm plantations.
U.S. supports "Heart of Borneo" conservation initiative
(08/02/2006) Tuesday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement supporting the "Heart of Borneo" conservation initiative that will protect 220,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest across Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
World deforestation rates and forest cover statistics, 2000-2005
(11/16/2005) Cambodia has the world's highest deforestation rate, Brazil loses the largest area of forest annually, and Congo consumes more bushmeat than any other tropical country. These are among the findings from mongabay.com's analysis of new deforestation figures from the United Nations. Monday, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its 2005 Global Forest Resources Assessment, a regular report on the status world's forest resources. Overall, FAO concludes that net deforestation rates have fallen since the 1990-2000 period, but some 13 million hectares of the world's forests are still lost each year, including 6 million hectares of primary forests. Primary forests -- forests with no visible signs of past or present human activities -- are considered the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect,
an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region. Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.
"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.