Kalimantan and Sabah Partner to Secure Wildlife Corridors as Part of the Heart of Borneo Initiative | WWF Malaysia

Kalimantan and Sabah Partner to Secure Wildlife Corridors as Part of the Heart of Borneo Initiative



Posted on 27 July 2018
Kalimantan and Sabahan representatives during their study visit at Sabah Softwoods Berhad.
© Sabah Softwoods Bhd
Kota Kinabalu: The landscape of south Sabah and North Kalimantan does not only serve as a border between two countries but also as key corridors that are important to the movement of Borneo elephants. Recognising the importance of protecting the elephant corridor that spans between south Sabah and North Kalimantan, WWF-Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Wildlife Department in October 2017.

This MoU indicates the willingness between the three signatories to secure and protect key elephant habitats in the transboundary area. As a part of the Heart of Borneo initiative, this MoU served as a precursor to the transboundary work between Malaysia and Indonesia.

A delegation from Kalimantan, which included WWF-Indonesia and representatives from local governments there, was invited to Tawau, Sabah from 23-26 July 2018 for a study visit to two plantations – Sabah Softwoods Berhad and Zillion Fortune Sdn Bhd. This visit acts as a follow-up from a previous visit made by the Sabah delegation comprising WWF-Malaysia and Sabah government officials to the Tulin Onsoi sub-district in North Kalimantan.

The purpose of the study visit was to share with Kalimantan counterparts what plantations in Sabah are currently doing to reduce human-elephant conflict and to manage High Conservation Value areas, and where suitable, adopt these practices in their landscapes.

Sabah Softwoods Berhad was selected as one of the host plantations due to their long-standing commitment towards conservation. A good example of this is when the plantation company agreed, in 2013, to set aside approximately 1,067 hectares of their land to establish a wildlife corridor to promote connectivity between the fragmented Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve to the Ulu-Segama Malua main forest complex.

This represents a big step forward in elephant conservation as it enables elephants to access larger foraging areas away from human activity, which therefore helps to reduce conflict with humans as a whole. According to Sabah Softwoods Berhad’s Senior Manager for Environment and Conservation, the company has also set aside a corridor to allow elephants to move through another area being newly planted with oil palm.

Their commitment was further shown when they took a step further to restore the wildlife corridor area by planting native tree species and fruit trees so that the other wildlife species can benefit from this initiative as well.

Aside from Sabah Softwoods Berhad, Zillion Fortune Sdn Bhd also played host to the delegation. The company holds licenses inside the Forest Management Unit that is located on the southern part of Sabah, within the Heart of Borneo transboundary corridor.

Since 2015, the license holder manages 10,833 hectares of forest area with mosaic tree planting strategy and silviculture treatment.

Zillion Fortune also carries out regular patrolling and boundary surveillance of illegal encroachment into the licensed area as well as to identify potential high conservation value areas. Protection buffer zone such as for riparian, steep areas and wildlife corridor purposes are demarcated, assessed and monitored.

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For more information, please contact:
Elaine Clara Mah
Tel: +6088 262 420 Ext. 121
Email: emah@wwf.org.my
Kalimantan and Sabahan representatives during their study visit at Sabah Softwoods Berhad.
© Sabah Softwoods Bhd Enlarge
Delegates participated in a tree planting activity at Sabah Softwoods Berhad.
© Sabah Softwoods Bhd Enlarge
Kalimantan and Sabahan representatives during their study visit at Zillion Fortune Sdn Bhd.
© Zillion Fortune Sdn Bhd Enlarge