DAYAK on the road

Because of globalization and industrialization remote areas are being opened up. A direct result is that nature as well as culture become vulnerable to forces from outside, which are sometimes quite destructive.
In 1990 we witnessed how big parts of the tropical rainforest on Borneo were cut down and how the local Dayak-people slowly lose their identity. And in the Amazon- region the existence of humans and animals is threatened by persistent drought, while on the other side of our planet people are suffering from big floods and tsunamis. But luckily there are also places on earth where you still can experience the beauty of the rainforest for yourself
The western demand for tropical hardwood used to be a major threat for the Dayak. Nowadays the most important reason for perpetual logging is the demand for palm oil, which is produced from the fruit of the palm tree, grown on big plantations in Malaysia, Indonesia and especially on Borneo. This oil is used in western power plants as a replacement for less durable and more damaging resources.
European concern for the environment and the mandatory agreements of the Kyoto-protocol have motivated governments and oil companies to try to limit the amount of greenhouse gases they produce as well as to search for alternative resources. Oil companies are urged to partially replace the coal in their plants with biomass, and palm oil seems the solution for the West. But the problems are actually increasing on the other side of the globe because of this policy. Environmental organisations declare that about 3.9 million hectares of tropical rainforest disappear every year by establishing palm oil plantations. The local population loses their farmland to the big companies that build the plantations. Therefore, they are left having to buy the food that they used to grow themselves, thus needing more and more money in the long run.
Recently a different kind of disaster took place in Brasil. The Amazone area encountered a mayor drought, filling the rivers and lakes with dead fish. As a result, the small amount of remaining water has become polluted and the inland villages have become isolated. Greenpeace reports that this area, often called the lungs of the earth and the habitat of the greatest variety of living creatures on the planet, has already suffered from about ten years of deforestation. And global warming enhances the problem still further.
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