15
Oct

Forests – Restoring Connectivity

The aim of this project is to improve the resilience and sustainability of Sabah’s forested landscapes through a focus on four key areas: (1) Avoiding deforestation, (2) forest restoration, (3) re-establishing forest connectivity and (4) further expanding Sabah’s network of fully protected forests.

To further this overarching goal, Forever Sabah is focusing on two first wave project:

  • A collaboration with Greg Asner, of Stanford University, to map all of Sabah’s forests using the Carnegie Airborne Observatory’s state of the art equipment.
  • A ‘ridge to reef’ project that follows issues relating to biodiversity, water quality, and climate from the Telupid Forest Complex at the heart of Sabah, down the lower stretches of the Kinabatangan and Segama rivers, to the mangrove forests of Malaysia’s only RAMSAR site.

Context:

Over the past five decades, the once pristine rain forests of Sabah have been subject to industrial scale timber harvesting, clearance and fragmentation for the development of agricultural and timber plantations. Today the majority of these forests are to some extent degraded. Although threats and challenges exist, which must be addressed, opportunities are legion to further protect, restore and re-connect Sabah’s rain forests. Over the past 18 months alone, the extent of protected forests in Sabah has been expanded from approximately 10% of land area (~7,000 sq. km) to close to 20%. These new protected areas include the complex of rain forests at Sabah’s heart that surround the pristine forests of Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon, an area which is arguably the most important stretch of continuous rainforest which remains intact on the island of Borneo.

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