The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah. It flows for 560km through eastern Sabah to the Sulu Sea on the east coast. Its water catchment area captures 16,800 sq km, about 23% of the total land area of Sabah - a vital water and food source for its people and their livelihood as well as a sanctuary for its diverse flora and fauna.
The Kinabatangan Floodplain – A Corridor of Life
The lower 70 – 100km of the river meanders through low-lying ground, forming the Kinabatangan Floodplain. It is the arguably the last forested alluvial floodplain in Asia. It is one of the two places on earth where ten primate species are found together, including the orang-utan, proboscis monkey and the Bornean gibbon. It is also home to over 250 bird, 50 mammal, 20 reptile species and 1056 plant species.
For these reasons, WWF-Malaysia is engaging stakeholders and partners (government agencies, oil palm companies, tour operators and the local community) to address the issues of reforestation, protection and management of the area.
A ‘Corridor of Life’ Vision was formulated towards Sustainable Development for the area, which includes:
- A forest corridor along the Kinabatangan, connecting the coastal mangrove swamps with the upland forests, where people, wildlife, nature-based tourism and local forest industries thrive and support each other.
- A floodplain that supports a thriving and diverse economy that offers opportunity and choice to local people and businesses.
- Good environmental management of the natural capital on which all partners depends upon.
- A landscape in which agriculture, people and nature conservation is united by their common source of vitality – water.