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Conservation Project - Kinabatangan Corridor of Life

Corridor of Life WWF project aims to establish a balance between the growing demands of private land development (such as forest conversion), the local community and the need to protect its unique and iconic wildlife.

Since 1950s, forested land around the Kinabatangan has been converted for various economic activities such as logging and development of agriculture.

Consequently, some over-logged forests in Kinabatangan were re-designated for permanent conversion to agriculture, mainly to oil palm plantations in the 1980s. Oil palm soon became the dominant commercial crop in the area and still is today.

WWF-Malaysia and various stakeholders' conservation efforts in the area were successful when in 1999, the state government declared the Lower Kinabatangan as Sabah's 'Gift to the Earth'. Following this, in 2005, a total of 26,000ha was gazetted as the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary under the state's Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997.

[Click here for WWF kcol factsheet]

For more information, please visit WWF website as follows:

Kcol Site [Click here to enlarge]

The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary contains the only remaining forested alluvial flood plain in Asia.

The gazetting is of major conservation significance because it is the only remaining example of a natural ecosystem that is lost to human use elsewhere.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry wants to purchase privately-owned land at zones neighbouring the fragmented Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary to ensure the long-term survival of iconic Sabah wildlife such as the orang utan, rhino and elephants.

Another private initiative for the same purpose is the establishment of the Borneo Conservation Trust, with the initial focus of reconnecting the riverine forests of the Kinabatangan River, expected to involve 200km.

The formal establishment of Borneo Conservation Trust was made possible by the donation of Saraya Corporation Japan.

Private oil palm plantation owner has also joined in an effort to realise the Corridor of Life in Kinabatangan and the viability of restoring forest vegetation cover in deforested land. Rehabilitation work has in fact started.

A bridge for the primates to cross the Kinabatangan River

Recognition as Ramsar site: Lower Kinabatangan - Segama Wetlands
The Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands have been officially designated as Sabah's first and Malaysia's largest Ramsar site on October 2008.

This is the 6th Ramsar site in Malaysia, Malaysia's largest, extending over 78,803 hectares of mangrove forests and peat swamp on Sabah's east coast.

The site comprises three contiguous forest reserves: Trusan Kinabatangan Forest Reserve (40,471ha), Kulamba Wildlife Reserve (20,682ha) and Kuala Maruap and Kuala Segama Forest Reserve (17,650ha).

It is recognised as an internationally important wetland for its good representation of the coastal mangrove forest and rare peat swamp forest containing a number of endangered and threatened species such as the Sumatran rhinoceros, proboscis monkey and Borneo pygmy elephant.

The Ramsar Convention is the informal name of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat.