Events Schedule for Autumn Now Published

By Vicky Marr
17th August 2021

The first event will be a talk on the Rainforests of Borneo by Dr Glen Reynolds.

CPRE Hampshire are launching a new programme of talks and events for the Autumn, previously on hold due to Covid regulations. 

The first event will be an insightful and fascinating talk on rainforests by Dr Glen Reynolds MBE, Director of the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP). SEARRP was established by the UK’s Royal Society in 1985 and is based at the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. It is one of the leading rainforest research programmes in the world. Science supported by SEARRP has resulted in a step-change in our understanding of the ecology of tropical rainforests, their conservation, restoration, the impacts of land-use change and the sustainable management of agricultural plantations. 

The title for Dr Reynolds’ talk is “Conserving Borneo’s rainforests and biodiversity in an era of land-use, climate and environmental change: reasons for hope?”

Over recent decades the once pristine rainforests that covered the length and breadth of Borneo – a tropical island in SE Asia over three-times the size of the UK – has, in large part, been cleared and degraded as a consequence of industrial logging, the development of agricultural, mostly palm oil, plantations and climate change. Many of Borneo’s iconic species – orangutans, clouded leopards, helmeted hornbills, the Bornean pygmy elephant and sun bears – are now severely threatened and often exist in small forest patches embedded within oil palm plantations. In 2019 the last Sumatran Rhino in Sabah died, representing the extinction of the species on Borneo.  

However, there is cause for hope. SEARRP science has illuminated the resilience of tropical forests, even in the face of logging and fragmentation, and allied projects continue to demonstrate that it is possible for plantations to support species of high conservation value, with even orangutans able to ‘co-exist’ in agriculturally dominated landscapes. Research has shown that forests can be sustainably managed, restored and reconnected and that by doing so, Borneo’s rainforests can play an important role in mitigating climate change. However, the window of opportunity to act is narrow – and we all have a part to play in rolling back decades of forest loss. 

Boyd McCleary, Vice Chair of CPRE Hampshire said: “Rainforests contain more than half of the planet’s animal and plant species and supports the livelihoods of over one billion people. They play a critical role in stabilising the earth’s climate and atmosphere and maintaining the water cycle. These are major global issues that impact all of us. Climate change is starting to become more and more relevant to our everyday lives. The talk by Dr Reynolds will be interesting and insightful and we’re delighted to be hosting him at this event.” 

This event will be taking place at Sparsholt College at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th September 2021. Tickets are £20 for non CPRE members, £15 for members and £5 for students and are available to be booked from Eventbrite. For all other events, please visit the CPRE Hampshire events page. 

Image of Borneo rainforest.
Rainforest Landscape in Borneo SEARRP
Children climbing in the New Forest