Image courtesy of Hayden (Oil Palm Concession) via Wikimedia commons

Image courtesy of Hayden (Oil Palm Concession) via Wikimedia commons

Borneo is an interesting case study for those interested in rainforests and peat swamps, agriculture, carbon accounting, and biofuels. The case study is located on the coastal border between Central and South Kalimantan, fewer than 100 km from the South Kalimantan capital of Banjarmasin. The area is the site of historical and ongoing deforestation. In the 90s, ambitious agricultural plans coupled with widescale deforestation resulted in tremendous ecological and environmental consequences.

The international attention paid to Borneo has resulted in a plethora of publications on the Mega Rice project, illegal logging, and regional palm oil industries, meaning data availability is unlikely to restrict potential research questions. While the scope of issues offered by Borneo may be narrower than in other case studies, they may be pursued to a greater depth. Furthermore,  the extreme examples of environmental engineering profered by Borneo make for fascinating study.


  • Agricultural History

Palm Oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia
 The Mega Rice Project

  • ‘Oil Politics’ Indonesian-style

BBC article

  • Flora and Fauna of Borneo

Peat Swamp Forest
Biodiversity conservation in Borneo
GreenPeace Report

  • Additional

Rimba Raya project         Gold Mining        Biofuel Producers   Biofuel or Food

Basic Geodata

Land cover data (compatible with ArcGIS) will be provided to you in class, covering three past time periods since the 1980s. The links below will show you the approximate boundaries (as seen in Google Earth with recent years), as well as the basic changes in land cover.

view in Google Earth

view Simple Land Cover Maps

Remember, there will also be several more auxillary geodata sets (such as terrain, etc.) made available to you in class for all study locations. These additional datasets are introduced under the main Global Case Studies page.