|Site Nomination for Peat Site Profiles in Southeast Asia|
|Name of Site:||Belait Peat Swamp Forest|
|GPS Point:||Latitude: 4°15' - 4°39'N Longitude: 114°05' - 114°29'E|
|Location & Access:||
Located at the western part of Brunei Darussalam on the Sarawak border, from the coast and Seria south for 40 km.
|Total Area:||85000.00 hectare(s)|
|Background of Site:||
The forest is located 0-15m above sea level. The area experienced tropical monsoonal climate with an average annual rainfall of about 2,900 mm. The region is under the influence of the northeast monsoon from mid December to mid March, and the southwest monsoon from mid May to the end of October. Heavy local rainfall causes flooding to a depth of about one meter several times a year.
A vast area of lowland peat swamp forest extending from the sandy coastal zone inland along the Sungai Belait. The site contains full undisturbed peat bog lenses with all six characteristic vegetation types. There are several ephemeral lakes, and some hot springs and mud volcanoes. The swamp is fed by one main river, the Sungai Belait, and its tributaries, rising in the hills of southern Brunei.
Extensive undisturbed tracts of Shorea albida forest are found here. Little information on the fauna is available. The area is believed to support most if not all of the fauna typical of north Bornean peat swamp forests, but few studies have been carried out in the area. The Estuarine Crocodile Crocodylus porosus is still occasionally reported.
The forest concessions are still fairly limited. Oil wells and an LNG plant are found in the coastal area. Oil-drilling extends up to 32 km offshore along the adjacent coast. Some logging activities are conducted in the forest, while shifting cultivation are carried out in some parts along the Belait River. A water pumping station, supplying two coastal towns, is situated on the river.
Significant Value of Site:
Special floral values: The swamp forest is noted for its abundance of pitcher plants.
Socio-economic: The wetland is an important forestry resource and provides a reliable source of water for the nearby coastal towns. It is an excellent example of a habitat type which is rapidly disappearing in other parts of Borneo, and thus has considerable value for scientific research.
Designated use (status/legal classification):
- Permanent Forest Reserve
Others: Privately owned
The forest concessions are still fairly limited, but excessive and uncontrolled logging may affect the sustainable yield of the swamp forest in the future.
|Site Jurisdiction & Administration:||Most of the site is state owned, except in the coastal zone, where large areas are under concession to the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company. Surrounding areas are partly state owned and partly privately owned.|
The swamp forest receives some protection under the Forest Policy of 1951. The area is managed by the Forestry Department.
Various proposals have been made to establish wildlife sanctuaries, managed forest reserves and research forests.
|Facilities & Activities Available on Site:|
|Institution Responsible for the Site:||