Monday, June 17

Five forest corridors identified for protection

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KINABATANGAN: Five private forest lands about 3,000 hectares in size at the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS) that have the capacity to enhance connectivity of existing fragmented wildlife forest in LKWS have been identified by the FGV-BCT Conservation Project Initiative.

They comprise the Batu Putih Corridor, Tanjung Bulat Corridor, Buang Sayang Corridor, Lokan–Sangau Corridor, and Balat-Deramakot-KTS plantation Corridor.

Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) honorary secretary Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu emphasised in a statement yesterday that the forest corridors identified must be maintained and protected for their sustainability.

Dr Laurentius also urged that these areas be safeguarded against illegal logging activities and from encroachment.

He said that a recent river patrol conducted by the FGV-BCT-SWD team revealed that the forested areas from Batu Putih to Bukit and from Bukit Garam to Kampung Balat had been encroached. The encroachment indexes were 0.47 and 0.63 respectively.

“There has been clearing of the riparian reserve and illegal structure was seen established along the reserve,” he said.

He explained that the river patrolling programme was initiated by the Kinabatangan Tourist Association (KiTA) headed by Alexander Yee together with the Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Wildlife Department.

Aside from the river patrolling programme, the team has also developed a systematic monitoring programme which enabled them to model the hot spot encroachment patterns at the Kinabatangan.

The system included the development of high resolution spatial database which will be integrated into a practical and cost effective ‘Drone’ system that will support the long-term monitoring of the Kinabatangan ecosystem in the future.