Thursday, November 8, 2012

Palm Oil Companies Unite to Protect Malua BioBank's Threatened Wildlife

Representatives from the four Malaysian palm oil companies namely IOI Corporation Berhad, TH Group, Kwantas Corporation Berhad, and Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor signing the Malua Wildlife Conservation Agreement witnessed by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Yee Moh Chai.

In a landmark initiaive, four Malaysian palm oil companies namely IOI Corporation Berhad, TH Group, Kwantas Corporation Berhad, and Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor today announced the Malua Wildlife Conservation Agreement. This agreement is a unique partnership with the Malua BioBank that aims to improve the protection of threatened wildlife in the Heart of Borneo.

According to Foest Department sources the Malua BioBank was established to protect and restore the Malua Forest Reserve. The project started in 2008 and covers an area of 34,000 hectares of mostly threatened lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah and lies within the Malaysian part of the Heart of Borneo.

Improving protection of endangered wildlife such as the orang-utan in the Heart Of Borneo is one of the main aim of the agreement.

The area supports a number of threatened species including Orang-utans, Asian pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, sun bear and benteng.

The project has 13 Sabah Forestry Department staff permanently based in the reserve and purpose-built work stations and guard posts manned 24 hours. In addition to putting an end to the high level of poaching taking place in Malua prior to the start of the project, a wide range of restoration and protection works have been completed, including construction of orang-utan bridges.

Malua BioBank, Sabah Government and the four companies are pioneering a new approach to protect wildlife from illegal hunting in Sabah as this remains a significant threat in the state. The Malua Wildlife Conservation Agreement recognises the importance of the palm oil industry working among key stakeholders as partners in a joint effort to ensure that Sabah's significant biodiversity is protected.

The Malua Wildlife Conservation Agreement is the first step in implementing the findings of a study funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council that saw the need for a co-operative effort to prevent illegal hunting and poaching occurring in the Malua Forest Reserve.

The joint effort will focus on improving boundary security within the plantations, recruiting and training oil palm workers as "Honorary Wildlife Wardens", managing human-wildlife conflicts, and improving environmental awareness of workers and their children living in the oil palm plantations.

Sabah Forestry Department Director Datuk Sam Mannan said, “This agreement is a positive step forward and demonstrates how the palm oil industry can play its part and work with partners to better protect Sabah’s globally significant biodiversity”.

Companies and individuals can contribute directly to the project through the purchase of Malua’s Biodiversity Conservation Certificates (BCCs). This provides a unique opportunity for companies and individuals to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and protection of a 100 square-kilometers of Malua rainforest.

Source: Insight Sabah


Anonymous said...

WWF is working with the 3 Borneo nations to conserve 220,000 km2 of rainforest, almost 1/3 of the island, through a network of protected areas and sustainably managed forests

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