Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Focus on elephants in Borneo


KOTA KINABALU: An international conservation initiative in Borneo is taking shape with the preservation of habitats for elephants being among the top priorities.

WWF Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said among the priority areas of the Heart of Borneo (HOB) initiative was the setting aside of an elephant landscape stretching from south of Sabah to North Kalimantan.

“Our work is to develop a comprehensive elephant conservation plan that includes setting aside wildlife corridors that link protected forests, conservation areas and riparian zones,” he said after the 10th Heart of Borneo (HoB) Trilateral Meeting – HoB Partners Dialogue in Brunei.

“The areas in question also include important browsing grounds through forest management areas and plantations,” said Dionysius, the WWF Heart of Borneo programme chairman.

He said the elephant landscape was among three of the six priority areas located along international borders and form a main part of the HoB Corridor Project Implementation.

Another priority was the conservation of the landscape for the headwaters of key rivers in Sabah, Sarawak and North Kalimantan.

The preservation of these headwaters would pave the way for well managed forests linking Brunei’s Sungai Ingei Conservation Forest and Ulu Temburong National Park; to Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu, Gunung Buda and Pulong Pau National Parks; and onwards to Sabah’s Crocker Range National Park as well as to North Kalimantan’s Kayan Mentarang National Park.

The third priority area would connect Sarawak to West Kalimantan by incorporating orang utan conservation into sustainable development as the basis for connectivity.

This transboundary project provides the orangutan connectivity for the Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak with that of Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum National Parks in West Kalimantan.

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