Malaysia: Federal government to help wildlife conservation and reforestation efforts in Sabah

muguntan vanar The Star 2 Apr 19;

KOTA KINABALU: The federal government will help Sabah in its restoration of degraded forests as well as carry out fresh surveys on the population of orang utans and Borneo pygmy elephants in the state.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said that the her ministry together with the Sabah Forestry Department have identified 6,500ha of degraded forest in the Lower Kawag, Ulu Segama Forests Reserve as the site for reforestation.

“We plan to plant one million forest tree species within the next 10 years,” she told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at his office here Tuesday (April 2).

She said reforestation efforts would be sponsored primarily by oil palm players.

“We support the formalisation of the state Wildlife Department’s project that will undertake a new population survey of orang utans and pygmy elephants in Sabah by wildlife experts, scientists and researchers,” said Kok, who has been in Sabah to meet oil palm industry players in the east coast since Friday (March 29).

Kok said that Shafie and other senior state officials were informed of her ministry's plan to work with Sabah on forest restoration and wildlife conservation.

She said that the Cabinet had also capped total oil palm cultivation

area to 6.5 million hectares and stop the planting of oil palm in peat land while tightening regulations on existing cultivations in peat lands.

“We have also banned conversion of forest reserves land for oil palm cultivation and make available oil palm plantation maps for public access,” she added.

“We also sought support from the Sabah state government on the love 'Love MY Palm Oil campaign',” she added.

Shafie said the support given by MPOC for the survey of the wildlife would help boost conservation efforts for the protected animals.

“We will give our cooperation in the conservations efforts,” he said, adding that the state government had undertaken efforts to ensure that the totally protected forests will be 30% while also stepping up reforestation activities.

Sabah Wildlife Dept gets RM1.5mil boost for orang utan, elephant conservation efforts
Bernama New Straits Times 2 Apr 19;

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) today donated RM1.5 million to Sabah Wildlife Department to conduct a new population survey, especially on orang utan and Pygmy elephants in the state.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Dr Kalyana Sundram presented a cheque for the amount to Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga, during a ceremony, here, witnessed by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Mohd Shafie said the government welcomed and supported efforts of outside parties in safeguarding protected wildlife population especially that of the Orang Utan and Pygmy elephants in Sabah.

“I am delighted with these effort and the state government is also striving to preserve protected wildlife habitats by introducing several policies such as reducing logging activities in the state.

“The effort is also in line with our goal of ensuring the totally protected areas (TPA) of (landmass in) Sabah reaches 30 percent by 2025,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie said the state government supported and wanted to cooperate in promoting the Love Our Palm Oil (Sayangi Sawitku) campaign.

“We know that Sabah is one of the largest palm oil producing states in Malaysia and this campaign is very important to ensure smallholders involved in the palm oil industry can be safeguarded as best as they can.

“We want to make sure that we overcome any unfair allegations made by outsiders,” he added.

The campaign, launched in January, among others aims to foster the spirit of love and pride in palm oil, appreciation for the commodity and its contribution to the country’s economy. -- BERNAMA