Borneo


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Borneo

(bôr`nēō'), island (1990 pop. 9,102,906), c.287,000 sq mi (743,330 sq km), largest of the Malay Archipelago and third largest island in the world, SW of the Philippines and N of Java. Indonesian Borneo (called Kalimantan by the Indonesians and divided into several provinces) covers over 70% of the total area, and the Malaysian states of SabahSabah
, state (1991 pop. 1,736,902), 28,417 sq mi (73,600 sq km), Malaysia, N Borneo, on the South China and Sulu seas. It is bordered on the south by Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). The capital is Kota Kinabalu; other significant towns are Sandakan and Victoria.
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 and SarawakSarawak
, state (1991 pop. 1,648,217), 48,342 sq mi (125,206 sq km), Malaysia, in NW Borneo and on the South China Sea. It is bordered on the NE by the states of Brunei and Sabah and on the S and W by Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).
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 and the sultanate of BruneiBrunei
or Brunei Darussalam
, officially State of Brunei Darussalam, sultanate (2005 est. pop. 372,400), 2,226 sq mi (5,765 sq km), NW Borneo, on the South China Sea. Its two sections, separated by Brunei Bay, are surrounded by Sarawak, Malaysia.
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 stretch across the north coast.

Land and People

The island largely consists of dense jungle and mountains, reaching its highest point at Mt. Kinabalu (13,455 ft/4,101 m) in Sabah. Much of the terrain is virtually impassable, and large areas are unexplored. Many of the rivers are navigable to small craft, however, and provide access into the interior. The largest rivers are the Kapuas in the west and the Barito in the south. The coastal area is generally swampy and fringed with mangrove forests. Banjarmasin, Pontianak, Balikpapan, Tarakan, Kuching, Bandar Seri Begawan, and Sandakan are leading ports. The climate is tropical, i.e., hot and humid; annual rainfall averages more than 100 in. (254 cm), and there is a prolonged monsoon (generally from November to May). The fauna is roughly similar to that of Sumatra and includes the elephant, deer, orangutan, gibbon, Malay bear, and crocodile, and many varieties of snakes. Rhinoceroses, once numerous, have been extensively hunted and are now almost extinct.

The island is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the world. The two major ethnic groups are the DyaksDyak
or Dayak
, name applied to one of the groups of indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, numbering about 2 million. The Dyaks have maintained their customs and mode of life largely uninfluenced by modern civilization.
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 and the coastal Malays. Kalimantan was also a center for Chinese settlement and has a number of immigrants resettled during the second half of the 20th cent. from overcrowded areas of Indonesia, particularly Madura.

Economy

Kalimantan contains Indonesia's greatest expanse of tropical rain forests, including valuable stands of camphor, sandalwood, and ironwood, and many palms. The thick jungle and myriad insects tend to discourage large-scale agriculture, but rice, sago, tobacco, millet, coconuts, pepper, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, coffee, and rubber are grown. In 1983, over 13,000 sq mi (20,917 sq km) of rain forest were destroyed by fire, causing enormous damage to the ecosystem, and immigration from other, heavily populated parts of Indonesia, combined with illegal logging, has resulted in increasing deforestation, threatening the orangutan, the pygmy elephant, and other species. Kalimantan contains some of Indonesia's most productive oil fields (discovered in 1888). Coal has been mined there for more than a century, and gold since earliest times. In 1995 one of the richest gold deposits in the world was discovered in NE Kalimantan. Other mineral resources include industrial diamonds, bauxite, and extensive reserves of low-grade iron ore, which are, however, little exploited.

History

Borneo was visited by the Portuguese in 1521, and shortly thereafter by the Spanish, who established trade relations with the island. The Dutch arrived in the early 1600s, and the English c.1665. Dutch influence was established on the west coast in the early 1800s and was gradually extended to the south and east. The British adventurer James BrookeBrooke, Sir James,
1803–68, rajah of Sarawak on Borneo, b. India, of English parents. After active service in Burma (1825–26), he retired (1830) from the army of the East India Company.
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 took the north edge of the island in the 1840s, and what is now Sabah was declared a British protectorate in 1882, Sarawak and Brunei in 1888. The final boundaries were defined in 1905. In World War II the island was held by the Japanese from 1942 to 1945. Dutch Borneo became part of the republic of Indonesia in 1950. The union of Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya in the Federation of MalaysiaMalaysia
, independent federation (2005 est. pop. 23,953,000), 128,430 sq mi (332,633 sq km), Southeast Asia. The official capital and by far the largest city is Kuala Lumpur; Putrajaya is the adminstrative capital.
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 in 1963 was resented by Indonesians. Indonesian guerrilla raids against both areas, begun in 1964, continued sporadically until Aug., 1966. The sultanate of Brunei became fully independent in 1984. The resettlement of non-Dyak Indonesians in Kalimantan has led to recurrent violence against the settlers by Dyaks.

Borneo

an island in the W Pacific, between the Sulu and Java Seas, part of the Malay Archipelago: divided into Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah, and the sultanate of Brunei; mountainous and densely forested. Area: about 750 000 sq. km (290 000 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
52 million new Borneo Aqua shares at 94 sen per share and an issuance of 34.
Team Borneo hopes to help reverse this shocking prediction, but also understands it will take a lot more global support.
Borneo Oil said by expanding its gold mining activities, this could raise its net profit to more than 25 per cent in the future.
ADORABLE Orangutan orphans in their barrow on their way to a day's learning in Borneo
During 1913 to 1917 he travelled two years in Borneo where he managed to cross from Banjarmasin on the southern coast of Borneo through central Borneo to end up in Samarinda on the east coast.
Both plenary presentations called for new ways of looking at Borneo history and intercultural relationships from local perspectives.
Borneo also trades precious metals and thermal coal between Indonesian domestic groups and international buyers.
BORNEO TO REIGN The duchess took this atmospheric shot of sunlight streaming into a jungle clearing in Danum Valley
The first black-and-white images, taken on a private walk through the rainforest, show sunlight falling on a stunning jungle clearing, while another shows an endangered Borneo orang-utan, partly concealed in the branches of a palm.
The photos show Mount Kinabalu, the highest point in Borneo, as well as an endangered Borneo Orangutan hanging from a tree in the jungle.
This month the BBC is to broadcast a documentary series looking back over Sir David Attenborough's remarkable 60-year broadcasting career, which includes a return to the Borneo jungle.