Many farmers and palm oil plantation owners out there among the forests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are still unaware of the serious issues of deforestation and its devastating effects. They are only driven by economic factors and know little about proper sustainable agricultural practices. Techniques adopted such as the slash-and-burn method to clear the forests are passed down from generation to generation so much so that it becomes a standard practice for many agricultural groups. With the lack of proper government law enforcement to clam down on such activities, these groups carry on their practices, many who do so are ignorant of the consequences.
Training and education of these agricultural groups would help the common folk understand how to prevent and reduce adverse environmental effects associated with deforestation and forestry activities and take appropriate action where possible. However, this would mean that either the government or influential Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) would have to take the initiative to come up with plans to reach out to these farmers and plantation owners. In would not be easy to reach out to all the groups out there but coming up with concrete plans for proper training and education would have very significant positive impacts on the environment. Rather than penalising groups who carry out illegal activities, educating them properly on what should be done and the reasons and beliefs behind them would be a more effective solution especially in the long run. However, this arena is lagging behind in terms of funds and more on these matters should be looked into especially by the government. There is also a general lack of knowledge and information in the general community about forests and forestry. Forest managers and those developing forest policies need to be first comprehensively educated on these issues before they can go on to educate the rest of the population.