LAND ACQUISITION AND HABITAT PROTECTION
One of the biggest threats to the continued survival of Orang Utans, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, Sun Bears and other wildlife in Borneo is fragmentation of the forest habitat following conversion to oil palm and other agricultural uses. Fragmentation leads to increased isolation of individuals and groups, and reduced access to food and mates, potentially impacting the long-term viability and survival of entire species.
Doing its part for conservation, LEAP has purchased and held critical parcels of land in trust, focusing particularly on land that form links between important habitat areas and which are slated for imminent sale and/or conversion to oil palm plantations.
A major focal region for LEAP is the incredibly beautiful and diverse Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS), which lies along an approximately 80 kilometer stretch of the Kinabatangan River in eastern Sabah. This sanctuary encompasses no less than seven distinct eco-regions including a rare freshwater swamp, seasonally flooded riparian forest, and lowland dipterocarp and mangrove forests. It is also home to an amazing array of wildlife – at least 10 primate species, clouded leopards, hornbills and elephants –just to name some.
Unfortunately, this 26,000 hectare sanctuary is not contiguous. It is divided into 12 lots and numerous privately-owned parcels of land act as barriers to wildlife movement. When sold mainly for conversion to oil palm, it becomes increasingly difficult for wildlife to move from one part of the sanctuary to another. Our goal is to identify and purchase strategic parcels of private land within this patchwork to create continuous protected habitat for wildlife in the region.
Forever Sabah was first shared on a global platform at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. It was introduced at the Heart of Borneo conference in Kota Kinabalu in November the same year, and is expected to be featured with latest updates at a similar event in November 2013. In August 2013, a high-level delegation from the Sabah Forestry Department, a key government agency supporting Forever Sabah, visited the United States and met with groups to take the initiative to the next level in creating possible partnerships.
For information, contact Forever Sabah Technical Coordinator Martin Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org.