2011 Pangaea Borneo Project
The Island of Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world after Greenland and New Guinea with an area of 743’330 km2. The island is part of the Greater Sunda Islands and is divided among three countries: Brunei (1%), Indonesia (73%) and Malaysia (26%). Borneo is surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Celebes Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, and the Java Sea and Karimata Strait to the south
Borneo is one of the most geologically complex and biologically diverse places in the world. With about 15’000 species of flowering plants, 3’000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds, Borneo presents a unique biodiversity. Subject to deforestation, the remaining Borneo rainforest is one of the only remaining natural habitat for the endangered Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and an important refuge for many endemic forest species: Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), the Bornean Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) and the Dayak Fruit Bat (Dyacopterus spadiceus)
The eastern region of the island of Borneo is part of the Coral Triangle (figure 2) defined as a geographical region spanning eastern Indonesia, parts of Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. The 5.7 million square kilometer region is defined by marine zones containing at least 500 species of reef-building coral. Hence this Coral Triangle is the global center of marine biodiversity, represents one of the world’s top priorities for marine conservation, and is the subject of intense conservation efforts by the region’s governments and leading conservation organisations. The Coral Triangle comprises the highest coral diversity in the world with 76% of the world’s coral species (798). It also presents the highest diversity of coral reef fishes in the world with 37% of the world’s coral reef fish species (6’000) and 56% of the coral reef fishes in the Indo-Pacific region (4’050).
Coral reefs and mangroves are two of the world’s rarest ecosystems, both under serious threat. Both ecosystems are among the most valuable in terms of their benefits to humankind and local economics, and both naturally form barriers providing some important shore protection.
Coral reefs are productive and diverse ecosystems that cover only 0.2% of the ocean floor, yet support an estimated 25% of all marine life. Coral reefs are often called the rain forests of the sea due to the high number of species and the high productivity they yield. An estimated 500 million people (8% of the world population) depend directly upon coral reefs for food and income, while 25% of the fish catch in developing countries is from coral reefs.
Similar to the ecological issues on land, the marine biodiversity and environment around Borneo are also under threat from poor marine management, overfishing and destructive fishing (dynamite and cyanide fishing), high market demand and local disregard for rare, threatened and endemic species, and coral bleaching from climate change.
Pangaea Borneo Project
During the third Pangaea Expedition, Mike Horn and the Young Explorers visited Malaysian Borneo and explored the region. Mike Horn decided to invest and expand what he initiated during the expedition into a longterm and sustainable project. The Pangaea Borneo Project will represent the living legacy of Pangaea long after the Pangaea Expeditions end in 2012. It encompasses the Pangaea Project’s essence in allowing young people to discover and EXPLORE the unique biodiversity, to LEARN about the environmental richness of this biodiversity hotspot, and ACT to alter human’s impact on the diverse ecosystems, fauna and flora of the region.
We are looking for future Pangaea Ambassadors who will take part in this project!
While the project objectives are aimed at the preservation, conservation and equilibrium of the natural ecosystems of Sabah’s coastal and marine ecosystems, the core of the Pangaea Borneo Project has been designed for the younger generation of Malaysians and follows Pangaea’s spirit to Explore, Learn and Act.
Once a month, we welcome a group of 4-6 Young Explorers (15-25 years old) from Malaysia to discover the natural beauty of their country, sensibilise them to the fragility of the marine ecosystem and the need to preserve and protect this unique region.
The core objectives of the project are:
- enabling Malaysian youth to discover their natural resources and ecosystems
- training Malaysian youth in becoming PADI certified scuba divers
- coral reef conservation, coral farming and artificial reef constructions
- marine life, primarily sea turtle, mangroves and shark, conservation
- education, awareness and ecotourism development
- beach, island and reef cleanup
- exploration to identify potential locations for potential future Pangaea Center
- protection and enforcement of project island
- fauna and flora control on project island
- local community integration and job creation
Following the official launch of the Pangaea Borneo Project at KLCC Aquaria in Kuala Lumpur on January 14, 2011, the first two project expedition events took place (January 15-25, 2011 and February 01-10, 2011) with Mike Horn and the exploration vessel Pangaea.
Pangaea's colleagues David Wharton and Sarah Nicholson lead this project on board their sailing vessel Ceil VI. We welcome a continuous stream of Pangaea Ambassadors and recruit Young Explorers from Malaysia and worldwide to participate and help accomplish this project.
We are looking for Young Explorers from Malaysia (and neighboring countries). The candidates must be able to swim and feel comfortable in the water, have a strong affinity for nature and present a keen interest for conservation issues. A diving qualification is not necessary for Malaysian youths as you will be trained during the camp with our PADI instructors. The following dates have been selected for the 10-day project events for the Malaysian and Singaporean youth:
We are also looking for international Pangaea Ambassadors who would like to take part in the project for longer periods of time. These candidates must cover their own travel expenses to Sabah, must be a qualified and experienced scuba diver (minimum 10 certified dives), be willing to dedicate at least one month to the project on site, and organise and lead fundraising events (goal is to raise a minimum of 1'000 Euros) and media events in their home countries.
The Pangaea Borneo Project allows young people between the age of 15 to 25 years old to take part in this conservation project in one of the most amazing ecological hotspots in the world, and to make a change for a healthier planet! Join us!
The Pangaea Borneo Project is on stand-by for the moment
Our Young Explorers and Pangaea Ambassadors have also organised different fundraising and awareness events for the Pangaea Borneo Project: