State discussing with plantation firms on conservation
16th July, 2008 New Sabah Times, Malaysia
KOTA KINABALU: The state government is currently in midst of discussions with some major plantation companies to persuade them to dedicate certain areas of their massive land banks for wildlife and forest conservation.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said these companies included Sawit Kinabalu, Golden Hope and Sime Derby.
“They have big land banks and they have said that some of will be dedicated for forest reserve,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Masidi was responding to a report by a non-government organisation (NGO) called HUTAN recently that 60 per cent of mammals are staying outside of the protected areas in Sabah.
The minister replied by saying that the government was trying to initiate a wildlife corridor to connect the orang utans living outside the sanctuary.
“The wildlife corridor is basically a riparian reserve but unfortunately many of our people have converted the land for plantation. The riparian reserve should not be disturbed as it is needed to provide access for animals to move,” he said.
In order to protect wildlife, he noted that a numbers of NGOs from overseas have raised money to buy land of about 50 acres in Kinabatangan from the villagers in order to keep them as a forest reserve.