WWF-Malaysia Supports Maintaining and Effectively Managing Buffer Zones of Conservation Areas | WWF Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia Supports Maintaining and Effectively Managing Buffer Zones of Conservation Areas



Posted on 13 December 2013
Primary lowland forest Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan
Primary lowland forest Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan
© Stephan Wulffraat / WWF-Malaysia
13 December, Sabah: WWF-Malaysia welcomes the intention of the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) to establish and restore a system of connected forests across Sabah. This includes the creation of more Class 1 forests, and buffer zones for conservation areas of Kinabatangan, Danum Valley, Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon, and forests bordering Kalimantan’s protected areas.

The intent was expressed during the International Conference on Heart of Borneo’s Natural Capital, held in Kota Kinabalu in November this year.

WWF-Malaysia also welcomes the recent move by the Sabah Government to amend the Forest Enactment 1968 to pave the way for the State to engage in carbon trading; and the launching of the RM16 million European Union funded REDD+ programme by SFD to tackle climate change through sustainable forest management.

“These are futuristic and commendable efforts by the Sabah Government.” said Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia, Dato’ DrDionysius Sharma. “We see them as complementary and mutually reinforcing forest conservation measures which will bring sustained ecological and socio-economic benefits to the people of Sabah and beyond.”

“For ensuring long-term integrity of the conservation areas, we support the initiative to establish wide buffer zones. Without wide buffers to each area, and effective connectivity between them, we will be risking the viability of these valuable natural heritage areas. This is particularly so in the face of increased human domination of forest landscapes, increased road access, mosaic-ed pattern of landuse having the effect of fragmentation, combined with long-droughts predicted for Borneo in the future due to climate change.” He added. “All these will potentially jeopardise the above commendable efforts of the State Government.”

The recent news reports about rampant illegal hunting taking place in several forest reserves and protected areas in Sabah, including Maliau Basin is just one of the many reasons why we should maintain and enhance the intactness of the buffer zones.

“A wide, well-managed and intact buffer zone can mitigate the effect of negative environmental or human influences on the core protection areas, including that of the Maliau Basin. In addition to enhancing the protection of a conservation area, a well-functioning buffer zone can be used as a research, education and training site, and for low-impact tourism and recreation activities,” Dr Sharma said.

For further information:
Kimberly Chung, Communications Officer, WWF-Malaysia (Sabah Office)
Tel: 088-262420 ext 37 Email: kchung@wwf.org.my

Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-78033772 Email: llyeoh@wwf.org.my
Primary lowland forest Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan
Primary lowland forest Murung Raya, Central Kalimantan
© Stephan Wulffraat / WWF-Malaysia Enlarge