Friday, 5 December 2008

Sime Darby Plantation Contributes RM25m On Orang Utan Habitats Restoration

Personal note: Sime Darby are clearing raiinforests in Indonesia.

December 04, 2008 14:03 PM

Sime Darby Plantation Contributes RM25m On Orang Utan Habitats Restoration

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 4 (Bernama) -- Palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd has committed RM25 million to the restoration and protection of orang utan habitats in the Northern Ulu Segama forest in Sabah.

Sabah Forestry Director Datuk Sam Mannan said on Thursday the amount, the largest endowment from a private company, would be used to restore the orang utan habitats by planting indigenous tree species on 5,400 hectares of degraded land over a period of six to seven years".

Despite its poor forest condition, the Northern Ulu Segama is rich in orang utans as it is the last forest refuge north of the Segama River."Another reason for this richness, apart from the river barrier and the fact that orang utans cannot swim, is the orang utans themselves."Experts say orang utans are attached to their homes.

They do not like to migrate and therefore, it is important we protect their homes before they are wiped out from the face of the earth because of our wrong-doings," he said at the signing of a partnership agreement between the Sabah Forest Department and Sime Darby Plantation here.Mannan said there are 400-500 orang utans living within 12,000 hectares of the forest, which is an alarming number.

He hoped more private companies would follow in the footsteps of Sime Darby Plantation in helping the state government's tireless effort to rehabilitate and conserve the forest."Over the past five years, the Sabah government has spent nearly RM200 million in forest conservation and that still it is not enough.

"But Sabah's effort has won the attention of the world and foreign companies and governments have pledged their money and resources to help the government in its endeavour," he added.-- BERNAMA