Monday, August 02, 2010

Corridor Of Life For Sabah's Endangered Wildlife

KOTA KINABALU -- The protected wildlife in Sabah is set to see better chances of survival, thanks to the `corridor of life' introduced by the Sabah state government.

The corridor of life is not only aimed at creating more forest for the wild animals to move about but also to complement the state government's goal of ensuring that 55 per cent of Sabah's total area has green cover.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the program would involve rehabilitation of the riparian reserve to create a passage for the wild animals to move about.

"Many people, especially owners of oil palm estates, plant crop right up to the river bank, thus blocking the passage for the wild animals," he told Bernama.

Riparian forest is a forested area adjacent to a body of water such as a river, stream, pond, lake, marshland, estuary or canal that allows fragmented forest to be connected.


"We will be rehabilitating this area (riparian reserve) and we have given alternatives to all land owners to stop farming on riparian reserve because when they farm right at the river's edge, wild animals, especially elephants are unable to cross the river," he said.

The corridor of life is currently the focus in the Kinabatangan district, in the interiors of Sabah, which will involve the acquisition of a vast area to create the riparian reserve.

"We are buying up the land little by little and as far as possible we try to encourage Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to raise fund themselves because we want the ownership to be shared by everyone.

Masidi noted that the implementation of the programme would be done in collaboration with the state Wildlife Department and the Land and Survey Department, the two department with enforcement powers.


"Enforcement means if for any reason a farmer or plantation company encroaches into the riparian reserve, they have actually committed an offence under the Land Ordinance.

"So that enforcement will be done by the Land and Survey Department," he said.

The whole idea of the corridor of life is to allow wild animals to move from one place to another to search for food and also to give them the opportunity to propagate.

"Animals are increasingly losing their habitat and are being pushed further into the jungle and worse still, the opening up of land leads to the fragmentation of forests.

"Therefore, it becomes a problem for the animals to move from one place to another to look for food and when they encroach into plantations they become the target of planters and poachers," he said adding that sun bear is one of the most endangered species in the state.

Continue reading at: Corridor Of Life For Sabah's Endangered Wildlife

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