Forum plots future for rainforests
Conservation of Borneo's natural beauty under the spotlight
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), its partners and the Indonesian government are staging a three-day discussion on the way ahead for the Heart of Borneo (HoB) project which aims to conserve 220,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest across Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Green Economy for People, Planet and Prosperity forum, which ends today, was being staged to also coincide with Earth Day which falls on April 22. Attended by a number of economic, business and finance experts, as well as environmentalist, the forum discussed what a green economy means for the HoB – the only protected tropical rainforest in Southeast Asia – and draft a roadmap for its future. “We cannot solve problems of the future by following old ways. We need new approaches,” said Adam Tomasek, head of the WWF’s HoB initiative. The forum is an attempt to show people that “a multi-stake holder approach to respecting natural resources owned by forests can assure that forests are much more valuable than cutting down trees,” he said. A green economy is not something impossible since it has many social, economic and environmental benefits, he added. The governments of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia signed the Heart of Borneo Declaration in February 2007 to protect tropical rainforests on Borneo Island. This declaration is supported by regional and international bodies and agreements such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).