Reasons | WWF Malaysia


Forest range within the Heart of Borneo rel=
Forest range within the Heart of Borneo
© WWF-Malaysia/R.J.Alfred

Why Heart of Borneo?

The Heart of Borneo’s trans-boundary feature presents a unique opportunity to conserve pristine tropical rainforest on a huge scale - almost 30% of the world’s third largest island. It is also one of only two places on earth where orang-utans, rhinos and elephants co-exist.

Water tower

The Heart of Borneo is the water catchment of Borneo’s major rivers: Kinabatangan in Sabah, Rajang in Sarawak, Belait in Brunei, Kapuas, Mahakam and Barito for Kalimantan. Without clean water the livelihood of communities living downstream would be seriously affected.


Kelabit native, Long Lellang, Sarawak 
	© WWF-Malaysia/Mikaail Kavanagh
Kelabit native, Long Lellang, Sarawak
© WWF-Malaysia/Mikaail Kavanagh
Indigenous peoples of the Heart of Borneo - the Dayak, Orang Ulu, KadazanDusun and Penan (nomadic) - maintain their culture and attachment to their homelands while seeking economic advancement.  Some of the indigenous groups are related across national borders and this promotes cooperation between Borneo’s three countries.


Bornean clouded leopard <i>(Neofelis diardi)</i> 
Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi)
The Heart of Borneo is a hotspot for biodiversity. Plants that proved to contain substances that could cure AIDS, cancer and malaria are found in the forests of Heart of Borneo. On top of the 360 discoveries of flora and fauna made the past ten years, 52 more new ones were recorded just last year. Perhaps the most exciting find was the Borneo clouded leopard, found to be an entirely new species of cat. WWF-Malaysia works on the study and conservation of wildlife in Borneo through its newly formed Borneo Species Programme.