Monday, June 17

Wildlife Corridor proposed to enrich gene pool

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Dr Henry Chan

KUCHING: A proposed ‘Wildlife Corridor’ linking protected areas from Kalimantan to Sabah could help boost the rich ecosystem of Borneo.

World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) head of conservation Dr Henry Chan said the fragmented and scattered locations of biodiversity in Sarawak would limit the gene pool of animals.

“Even though we have national parks, animals cannot move out or breed among other species, therefore the gene pool will be limited, and this would even jeopardise their health.

“This proposed landscape connectivity or corridor will help with the migration of animals,” Chan said in a presentation at the ‘Youth Green X-Change Programme – Talk on Sustainable Development’ held at Azam Conference Room, Azam Complex in Jalan Crookshank here yesterday.

The transboundary corridor from Sebangau National Park to Mount Kinabalu National Park will also help the government and private sector to expand these areas.

Chan said the idea for a Wildlife Corridor was broached by the Sultan of Brunei during the ‘Heart of Borneo’ meeting last year, and that implementation would be carried out in stages.

Chan revealed that WWF-Malaysia had five Priority Conservation Areas (PCA) in their endeavours (including the Wildlife Corridor) which are core conservation zones, sustainable land use and forest management, Key Watershed Areas for sustaining freshwater needs as well as stakeholder engagement.

“Hopefully, the desired outcome is that Totally Protected Areas will be surrounded by healthy production forests where areas used by the community as well as palm oil and timber plantations will be connected by intact ecosystems and high conservation value areas.

Currently there are 31 national parks, eight nature reserves and four wildlife sanctuaries in Sarawak.