OUR PHILOSOPHY

Mission

Our Mission is to conduct robust scientific studies that inform policies, decision-making, and public opinion about reconciling wildlife conservation with fair and equitable development.

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Our code of conduct

Fulfilling our mission is important to us; Borneo Futures was set up to make a difference. Our key goals are to improve environmental and wildlife management in Borneo and to affect positive change in global environmental conservation. If we fail to be influential, we adapt and change our approach.

We believe in full transparency throughout our operations, fair and equitable policies concerning our staff and clients, and scientifically proven measures of efficacy that guide our work. We are open to criticism and happy to discuss our approaches and thinking, as long as discussions stay civilized and polite.

Understanding trade-offs

Some of the key issues surrounding ‘sustainable’ development, revolve around societal questions of what is the ‘right’ thing to do in terms of choices between development and preservation of nature. Such choices often involve trade-offs. A ban on palm oil may be good for orangutans in Borneo and soy farmers in Brazil, but bad for those for whom it is the only affordable oil for their cooking or for smallholders for whom it is the main source of income.

 

Unfortunately, the world isn’t black and white. Borneo Futures is trying to identify the nuances and find optimum ways to manage resources that benefit society as a whole, and not just company shareholders. Not an easy thing to do when different people have different values.

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Working with different land users Why Brunei?

Borneo Futures works with different land users, including managers of protected areas, the oil palm industry, and rural communities to better understand the circumstances under which these different forms of land management can generate optimal environmental and social outcomes. We work on the ground to develop better wildlife management practices and ensure that land is used with minimal environmental and social impacts.

Why Brunei?

We have chosen Brunei Darussalam as our base for several reasons. Firstly, Brunei holds a relatively neutral political role regarding Malaysia and Indonesia. Secondly, Bandar Seri Begawan is one of the few cities on Borneo which retains areas of relatively intact lowland and mangrove forest within and close to the city limits, thus, making it possible to walk out of our front door and into the rainforest within minutes or see monkeys and eagles from our office window. If only the rest of Borneo had that luxury! Thirdly, we enjoy working with Brunei’s excellent university graduates on a range of environmental issues.

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Science and communication

Conducting endless scientific studies is pointless unless we have a real impact that leads to change. Over the years, we have been active in science-based advocacy through newspaper articles, an active social media presence, and engagement with organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), especially through its Primate Specialist Group and Oil Palm Task Force.