Sunday, April 1, 2012

Orang-utan conservation effort receives shot-in-the-arm

Kota Kinabalu: The State's orang-utan conservation effort received a shot-in-the-arm with the signing of a contract agreement between WWF-Malaysia and AEON Co. (M) Berhad here Monday.
The five-year agreement is to provide for reforestation and rehabilitation of the orang-utan's natural habitat in North Ulu Segama, Lahad Datu.
The forest in this area was severely degraded due to several cycles of logging operations in the past and the frequent occurrence of forest fire, but miraculously the orang-utan which inhabit the area survived despite the ordeal they have had to endure.
The reforestation and rehabilitation effort will involve planting saplings of high trees, middle high trees, low trees and shrubs in approximately 80 hectares of the area over the next five years, with a RM500,000 investment by AEON.
The fast growing tree species to be planted will help restore the connectivity of the forest canopy so that the orang-utan will be free to roam in search of food in all the areas within the area and places to build their nests. The wild fruit trees will be source of food for the orang-utan.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun witnessed the contract agreement signing and exchanging of documents between AEON Managing Director Nagahisa Oyama and WWF-Malaysia CEO Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma in a ceremony held at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu here.
Thanking AEON for choosing Sabah as a place for it to carry out its corporate social responsibility, Masidi said the project is a recognition to WWF-Malaysia's good work in Sabah apart from being a kind of vote of confidence in the State Government's effort through the Forestry Department to rehabilitate and conserve the forest.
"It is my sincere hope that there will be more corporate organisations like AEON to come over to Sabah and assist us in our effort to not only save the orang-utan but also other species which are in danger of extinction like the rhinoceros and sun bear," he said.
He said the reason is simple, that is, because the forest is being fragmented by the opening up of land that affected their reproduction process, which in turn, contributed to the decline of the animal populations.
"Such an assistance from various quarters there is now light at the end of the tunnelÉin Sabah we are doing the right thing, at the right track, to help these animals to continue surviving for the future generations to appreciate," he said.
For AEON, this is not its first because it has actually been involved in tree-planting activities since 1991 at the JUSCO Malacca branch in Ayer Keroh.
It was called "AEON Hometown Forest Programme" where 50,000 saplings were planted.
AEON Co. Ltd in Japan is the pioneer of AEON Environment Foundation that has been contributing towards greening areas in Sudan and several sites surrounding the Great Wall of China.
"It has always been the company's aspiration to preserve the environment and the orang-utan's habitat in North Ulu SegamaÉwe see the growing importance of conservation measures to protect and nurture a green environment," said Oyama. The project will help foster closer ties between AEON and the local residents, not only as a business venture but also in the hope of educating the locals on the importance of preserving the environment, he said.
AEON in collaboration with WWF-Malaysia hopes to spread the significance and value of rehabilitating the orang-utan's population and looks forward to sustain this project for a long time.
Tree-planting has always been AEON's commitment towards reviving nature, to create a more natural and pleasant environment for the sake of future generations. To date, AEON has planted more than 400,000 saplings throughout Malaysia.
Oyama also said that the need for combined effort between all quarters to conserve nature will become more important within the next 10 years with the anticipated increase in economic development activities in Southeast Asia, which may also have a great impact on the environment.
Dr Dionysius said this restoration effort acknowledges the need to improve the quality of this forest, which will be by putting back the structure of the forest.
WWF-Malaysia feels very encouraged to be able to work with the State Government very closely, he said, adding it is important to conserve nature not only because for the animal and other wildlife but also for humanity itself, because humans also need the forest for survival.
The State Government has gazetted 40,000hectare of land in North Ulu Segama as a Permanent Forest Reserve for habitat conservation and the orang-utan.

Green Sabah says: Good that WWF will work closely together with the Sabah State Government to conserve Sabah's nature and wildlife. Hope that the Orang Utan Conservation will be continued as it can help protect our wildlife species. 


sabaheco said...

AEON is not only good in giving credit terms, but also good in their corporate responsibility...

Mohd Ishak said...

Syabas kepada Kerajaan Sabah atas pencapaian yang baik dalam usaha melindungi Orang Utan di Sabah. Semoga mereka akan teruskan usaha untuk memastikan spesis ini tidak akan pupus.

Mohd Ishak said...

Usaha untuk melindungi Orang Utan ini telah mendapat sokongan dan pujian daripada WWF, diharapkan kerjasama antara AEON dan WWF akan meningkatkan keberkesanan cara kita melindungi Orang Utan kita.

Green Sabah said...

Its good to know that the local companies such as AEON is putting efforts in fulfilling their corporate responsibility, hopefully more local companies will be involved as well.

Green Sabah said...

The government has indeed made numerous efforts on the conservation of orang utan in Sabah, as well as other wildlife species such as pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and more. You can read more about the government's wildlife protection by browsing through our archive.

Green Sabah said...

I'm sure this collaboration between AEON and WWF will bring more improvement for our wildlife protection movements. Hope that we can preserve our wildlife so that they can continue to exist for the sake of the future generation.

evan medhousky said...

in response to the WWF research where they found that the orangutan habitat restoration efforts in Sabah has bear fruit especially in Ulu Segama Malua Forest Reserves,, Dr Rahimatsah Amat, the Chief Technical Officer (Borneo programme) of WWF-Malaysia, has made a statement last year that they could not have done it without the collaboration from the Sabah state government..

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