- Author : Stéphane Haussy
- Master : 1793
Borneo, the slaughtered forest | France 2 | Envoyé Spécial
The name evokes exoticism, explorers and the far end of the world: the island of Borneo in Indonesia. However, the tropical forest is threatened with destruction. Every 15 seconds, according to experts, the forest in Indonesia shrinks by the size of a soccer pitch. Industrialists are destroying it with chainsaw and bulldozer and replacing the trees with plantations of palm oil. It’s the cheapest oil in the world and much sought-after by the food industry?you find it in pastries, potato chips, croutons, lyophilized (freeze-dried) soups, etc. Palm oil is also an excellent fuel for diesel engines. Indonesia produces 20 million tonnes of this vegetable oil every year, supplying the whole world. However, this deforestation is creating other victims: animal species. In this inhospitable jungle a Frenchman, Aurélien Brûlé, has decided to devote his life to protecting the animals threatened by deforestation, notably gibbons, a species of monkey. He moved to Borneo 11 years ago. Everyone calls him Chanee. A native of Fréjus in the Var, he set up an NGO to rescue gibbons. As the forest disappears the monkeys are left on the ground at the mercy of poachers. They are also victims of disease. The gibbon could be the first species of great ape to disappear permanently. Stéphane Haussy and Vincent Reynaud met the people whose land is being requisitioned by the big palm oil companies. Those who opposed deforestation are in prison. Some villagers are also suffering from diseases: the waters of a lake in Borneo are contaminated by toxic waste from the plantations. Tanker trucks supply drinking water to the villages. We have also investigated the conditions under which the factories produce palm oil.