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A frog with no lungs, a ninja" slug, which fires love darts at its mate, and the world's longest insect are among more than 100 new species discovered in the three years since the Heart of Borneo conservation plan was drawn up by the three governments with jurisdiction over the world's third largest island.

Borneo's New World: Newly Discovered Species in the Heart of Borneo, a new WWF report released today, details 123 new species discovered since the February 2007 agreement by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia, which aims to conserve the 220,000 km2 of irreplaceable tropical rainforest that is designated the Heart of Borneo (HoB).

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said:

"The discovery of these new species in the Heart of Borneo underlines the incredible diversity of this remarkable area and emphasises the importance of the commitments made by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia to protect it.

"Three years on, the Heart of Borneo Declaration is proving to be an irreplaceable foundation for conservation and sustainable development by establishing a framework for action to protect Borneo's globally outstanding biodiversity, eco-system services and livelihoods.

"As well as being rich in biodiversity HoB is part of the lungs of our world helping to protect us from climate change, so we need to continue to protect it. Also, here in Scotland political parties need to make sure they do all they can to protect forests and tackle climate change. We'll be looking out for candidates to say what they will do to protect forests and tackle climate change."

Adam Tomasek, leader of WWF's HoB Initiative said:

"As the past three years of independent scientific discovery have proven, new forms of life are constantly being discovered in the Heart of Borneo. If this stretch of irreplaceable rainforest can be conserved for our children, the promise of more discoveries must be a tantalising one for the next generation of researchers to contemplate."

Explorers have been visiting the island of Borneo for centuries, but vast tracts of its interior are yet to be biologically explored. The HoB, an "island within an island" is home to ten species of primate, more than 350 birds, 150 reptiles and amphibians and a staggering 10,000 plants that are found nowhere else in the world, the report says.

The rate of discovery since the foundation of the HoB is more than three new species per month, providing ample justification for the decision to protect the region.

With so many new species discovered every month, WWF has made the region a global priority through its Heart of Borneo Initiative. WWF offices in Malaysia and Indonesia support tri-government efforts to conserve and sustainably manage the region. Under the 2007 agreement, the three governments have committed to enhance protected area and trans-boundary management, develop eco-tourism and support sustainable resource management.

Adam Tomasek added:

"Three years on, the Heart of Borneo Declaration is proving to be an irreplaceable foundation for conservation and sustainable development by establishing a framework for action to protect Borneo's globally outstanding biodiversity, eco-system services and livelihoods. The discovery of these new species in the Heart of Borneo underlines the incredible diversity of this remarkable area and emphasizes the importance of the commitments already made by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia to protect it."

The discoveries also highlight the need to increase financial and technical support to ensure their continued survival.
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