Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type



School of Environment

Director of Thesis

Dr. Carol Boggs

First Reader

Dr. Erin Meyer-Gutbrod

Second Reader

Dr. Erin Meyer-Gutbrod


Borneo is one of the most biologically diverse locations on Earth, with thousands of endemic and rare species forming unique and intricate relationships throughout the ecosystems. Orangutans, elephants, leopards, tigers, rhinos, and many more species call this island their home, although population levels for all of the mentioned species have been in seriously decline over recent decades. The loss of primary rainforest that provides the most critical habitat for these species has occurred at the highest rate that has ever been seen on Earth, leading to extreme land conversion and greenhouse gas producing operations. The primary driver of these actions are palm oil plantation companies that operate throughout Borneo, with the largest and most detrimental supplier being Wilmar International Limited. This paper reviews the actions and policies introduced by Wilmar to curb their deforestation practices as well as the role of national policy and enforcement capacity from the government to aid in this endeavor. There is considerable evidence presented in this paper that demonstrate a lack of commitment and enforcement to environmental pledges along with corruption, mismanagement, and conflicting directives within the administration of Wilmar and the Indonesian government have enabled continuous loss of primary rainforest. It is concluded that stricter commitment with proportional consequences are needed in the environmental law sector, and ecotourism is presented as the best opportunity to develop a sustainable economy in Borneo that will preserve the rainforests.

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© 2022, Sam Coroniti III