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Boost for the wildlife corridor
Published on: Wednesday, October 09, 2019
By: Larry Ralon

KOTA KINABALU: The conservation of iconic wildlife in Kinabatangan received a major boost, Tuesday, with the handing over of 230 acres (93 hectares) by Japan’s Saraya Co Ltd and Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) Japan to the State Government.

Together Saraya Co Ltd and BCT Japan have also contributed a total of RM9,346,367 over the last 13 years for many conservation programmes in Sabah.

Deputy Chief Minister cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said these included providing funding for building, upgrading and operation of the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary, elephant rescue operations, providing food for nine rescued elephants and the purchase of several plots of land.

“I understand from our meeting last Sunday that Yusuke Saraya (Saraya Co Ltd President) is here to attend the BCT Sabah’s Board of Trustee Meeting.

“(And) he has expressed his desire for BCT Sabah Board of Trustee to hand over the 230 acres that were bought through the contribution of Saraya and BCT Japan to the Sabah Government and to be gazetted as part of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary,” she said at the presentation of land titles of the 230 acres to the State Government, received by the State Wildlife Department at Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club, Tuesday.

Jungle holds nation-building lessons

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal witnessed the presentation from BCT Japan’s local coordinator, Yuko Kishi, to State Wildlife Department Director, Augustine Tuuga.

Liew said she was made to understand that 326.7 acres critical for the movement of endangered wildlife in the Lower Kinabatangan had also been purchased through international community fund raising by United Kingdom-based World

Land Trust (WLT) and funds from The Shared Earth Foundation and Abraham Foundation, both of the United States, and also through funds from LEAP, a Sabah NGO.

These lands were handed over to the Wildlife Department in 2013, she said, adding the plots are now under process of gazettement as part of the Lower Kinabatangan Sanctuary under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.

“The Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is a very important wildlife conservation area and very rich in wildlife including iconic species such as the Orangutan, elephant and proboscis monkey, to name a few....it is one of the famous nature tourist attractions in Sabah.

“However, the sanctuary is only 26,103 hectares (64,502 acres) and is fragmented into 10 lots along the lower Kinabatangan river. It is, therefore, very important that critical areas for wildlife movement must be retained under forest cover to connect the fragmanted sanctuary.

“Today, if we can have the 230 acres gazetted as part of the sanctuary, we will have a total of 780 acres of additional area to be added to the existing sanctuary.

“I am very grateful for the generous contribution of all the parties in securing these critical areas to be included as part of the sanctuary and hope they will continue their support in our conservation efforts,” she said. 

 

 



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