Brunei Darussalam is a small kingdom, which is located on the northwest coast of Borneo Island. Because of the kingdom's richness of oil and natural gas, they did not have to depend too much on the forest resources, and so even now 80% of this country is covered by tropical rain forests and peat swamps. The forest is so precious for the earth that about 70% still stays pristine. Especially, in Selirong Island (2500ha) that lies on the border of Sabah, Malaysia, has a virgin mangrove forest which height almost reaches 40 M.

RCJ is going on a project, Conservation of Pristine Mangrove Forest and Enhancement of Public Awareness on Wetland and Biodiversity in Brunei Darussalam since 2000 with supports of Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF) and Ricoh Co., Ltd. It is very important for us to consider conservation of the forests, when we think about the fact that oil and natural gas will be depleted in the near future.

Brunei Darussalam



Northwest of Borneo Island
Bandar Seri Begawan (Population; 200,000)

Selirong Island is 30 minutes from Bandar Seri Bagawan by boat. You can see the virgin forest of Brunei on the right and the secondary forest of Malaysia on the left. Trees of the virgin forest are nearly twice as high and thick as ones of the secondary forest.
Trees of this forest are 30-40 M high and 50cm-1.0M wide.
The forest is filled with calls of cicadas, wild birds and animals and sounds of jumping prawns.
Mr. Masakazu Kashio, Regional Forest Resources Officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said, "I have never seen such a great forest in my life, although I have seen many mangrove forests in Asian Pacific region. This one is a World Heritage class!"
There were 50 participants from Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei in the expert meeting held at the Department of Forest in April 2002. They had a discussion on survey and conservation of the mangrove forest of Selirong.
Photo by Akira Hirai and Takayuki Musha / Text by Tamako Tsukiji
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