How destructive can man get, how ruthless, in his quest to secure maximum profit, even as he endangers the very survival of our planet?
The tropical forests of Kalimantan (known as Borneo in Malaysia), the third largest island in the world, have almost totally disappeared. Coalmines are savagely scarring the hills; the rivers are polluted, and countless species are endangered or extinct.
It is all a terrible sight, whether you see it from the air or when driving (or walking) through the devastation that is taking place on the ground. The soil is black; it is often saturated with chemicals. Dead stubs of trees are accusatively pointing towards the sky. Many wonderful creatures, big and small, who used to proudly inhabit this tropical paradise, are now hiding in the depth of what remains of one of the largest tropical jungles on earth
Engines are instantly roaring everywhere; huge equipment is continually cutting through something pure, or digging and finally transporting what has already been extracted, killed, or taken down mercilessly.
Ms. Mira Lubis, Senior Lecturer at Tanjungpura University, Pontianak in Western Kalimantan, summarizes the situation honestly but brutally:
“I think we, the people of Borneo, have lost our sovereignty over our own space and resources, under the pressure of global capitalism... Apparently, we just became poor despite all the wealth that we have.”