Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wildlife Conservation In Managed Forests – International Cooperation

On Monday, 7th February 2011, a Memorandum of Understanding  (MoU) was  signed between  the State Government of Sabah (Malaysia), represented by the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and the Leibniz  Institute  for  Zoo  and Wildlife Research  (IZW)  of Germany.  This MoU will  pave  the  road  to continue  an  already  successful  collaboration  of  the  IZW,  an  internationally  renowned  wildlife research  institute, with  the  SFD by  assisting  the  SFD  in  their efforts  to monitor  the biodiversity  in Forest Management Units (FMUs) in Sabah.

Wildlife  conservation beyond borders of parks or other  fully protected  areas  is paramount  for  the effective and comprehensive conservation of biodiversity  in  the  landscapes of Sabah. Forests are a key habitat  in Sabah, since more than half of Sabah’s area  is covered by  them. As most  forests are commercially  used  for  the  production  of  timber,  a  sustainable management  of  these  forests  is  of great  importance  to ensure  the  long-term conservation of  some of  the most  threatened species  in Sabah, such as the SundaClouded Leopard.

During the signing, Datuk Sam Mannan, Director of the SFD, pointed out that the collaboration with the  IZW has proven  to be  impressively  successful during  the  last years and  that he  is very pleased that this collaboration will now be continued and expanded in the near future. The results obtained during previous  studies by  the  IZW  in FMUs  included pioneering  findings  such as  the  first  film of a SundaClouded Leopard released in spring 2010, or the rediscovery in Sabah of the Hairy-Nosed Otter – previously thought extinct – after a gap of more than 100 years.

“The research by the IZW assisted us to show how diverse some of our FMUs are” mentioned Datuk Sam Mannan during the signing of the MoU. “We know that there are orang-utans or elephants living in  our  forests  but  our  knowledge  about  other,  highly  threatened  wildlife  species  such  as  the endangered Otter Civet was very limited. With their research the IZW showed us that these species occur  in  our  forests  and  how  to  find  them.”  Previous  studies  of  the  IZW  mainly  focussed  on Deramakot Forest Reserve and its neighbouring FMUs; the new MoU paves the way to expand these efforts to other FMUs in the coming years.

Heribert  Hofer,  Director  of  the  IZW,  added  “the  biological  richness  of  Sabah’s  forests  is  a  great treasure  and  a  heritage  of  worldwide  importance.  It  is  therefore  an  important  responsibility  to manage  these  forests  in  a  sustainable  way.  Therefore,  up-to-date  scientific  research  and  wildlife surveys are important to understand the needs of threatened species. Knowing and appreciating the diversity of these forests will help to protect their richness for the benefit of all.”

Earlier  in  November  2010,  the  IZW  signed  anMoU  with  the  Sabah  Wildlife  Department  (SWD), agreeing  on  close  collaboration  on  research  and  conservation  of  Sabah’s wildlife,  particularly  the highly endangered Sabah Rhino. The MoU with the SFD now expands the research efforts of the IZW to FMUs. “Very little is known about the ecology of wildlife species in Sabah’s forests and how they respond to timber extraction. Such research is of a very high practical value because the appropriate management and protection of wildlife species requires such knowledge” Heribert Hofer added.

By  2014  the  SFD  aims  to  have  all  FMUs  in  Sabah  certified  for  Sustainable  Forest Management. Wildlife monitoring and the conservation of the forest’s biodiversity is one of the main components of  sustainability and  therefore  the  SFD  is optimistic  that  this  collaboration with  the  IZW will  assist their efforts to reach this goal. 

Source: Sabah Forestry Department


Anonymous said...

Researchers in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife have extensive and diverse projects spanning the globe.

Anonymous said...

r the understanding of habitat relationships of upland game birds

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