Aerial photography overlooking thousands of hectares of palm oil plantations. This was originally unspoilt primary rainforest. Near Long Akah, Baram, Sarawak, Malaysia 2015
These regions were were part of the world's oldest rainforest, which dates back 160 million years. The indigenous native communities’ survival depends on sustainable development of primary rainforest, a biodiversity resource, with countless insects, an array of birds and endangered species, which support one of the most diverse tropical ecosystems in the world.
Borneo native peoples and their rainforest habitat revisited two decades later: 1989/1991 and 2012/2014/2015.
Sarawak's primary rainforests have been systematically logged over decades, threatening the sustainable lifestyle of its indigenous peoples who relied on nomadic hunter-gathering and rotational slash & burn cultivation of small areas of forest to survive. Now only a few areas of pristine rainforest remain; for the Dayaks and Penan this spells disaster, a rapidly disappearing way of life, forced re-settlement, many becoming wage-slaves. Large and medium size tree trunks have been sawn down and dragged out by bulldozers, leaving destruction in their midst, and for the most part a primary rainforest ecosystem beyond repair. Nowadays palm oil plantations and hydro-electric dam projects cover hundreds of thousands of hectares of what was the world's oldest rainforest ecosystem which had some of the highest rates of flora and fauna endemism, species found there and nowhere else on Earth, and this deforestation has done irreparable ecological damage to that region