Saturday, May 15, 2010

50 acres of Kinabatangan land acquired for conservation

KOTA KINABALU: The Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) has acquired 50 acres of land at lower Kinabatangan for RM600,000 for conservation, said its chairman, Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin. He said the long-term objective would be to purchase 13,000 hectares of land, but for the short term, BCT aimed to acquire several thousand hectares.

Ibrahim also said that programmes would be undertaken to ensure land owners understand the BCT objectives in purchasing land for conservation and the wildlife corridor. “Most importantly they understand so that they don’t ask for exorbitant price because it is not for commercial. It is a walkway for the animals,” Ibrahim said this at the BCT press conference here yesterday, where he also introduced the new board of trustees.

Ibrahim said BCT would also educate the people that oil palm plantation and wildlife can coexist sustainably. He pointed out that there was misconception, particularly from the Westerners, that oil palm plantation and deforestation had negatively impacted on carbon emission and wildlife here. “We are disseminating information to educate Asia and the world that oil palm production is an important aspect for the livelihood of millions of people and we can coexist with wildlife.” He said groundwork was being laid in the last three years and the next step was to ensure wildlife, mainly the orang utan, elephant and proboscis monkey were well preserved in Sabah.

In addition, Ibrahim said programmes would be held with palm oil operators such as Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Palm Oil Association, and Malaysian Palm Oil Council to inform them about BCT objectives and obtain assistance, including funding, project development or conservation awareness programmes.

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