Nature Blog Network Future Earth: Plastic in Paradise

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Plastic in Paradise

Yet another load of non-degradable plastic makes its precarious way into the beautiful, diverse and disappearing forests of Indonesian Borneo.

At the end of this particular road, Arjay saw people finding the plastic paraphernalia very useful for their daily subsistence. Traffic in the other direction was of tapped, raw rubber and sweaty, rotting oil palm fruits ... both of which are converted into indispensable (?) trappings of life in more populous cities across land and sea.

But this is not entirely bad news. Both rubber and oil palm plantations in this area are small-scale local community lots used as cash crops in the local economies and the distant forest you see there is currently protected from the big commercial outfits. Why might this remain? Just look - along the many miles of this road runs a bright blue pipe, taking fresh mountain water to the people of the regional capital. How about that for a demonstrable ecosystem service?

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