New high conservation value forest identified near Batang Ai National Park, house told


  • Community
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A NEW high conservation value forest or HCVF has been identified in Ulu Sungai Menyang near Batang Ai National Park, Sri Aman division.

The area, covering about 14,000ha, is considered HCVF following a recent survey showing the existence of orang utan within the Menyang landscape, said Special Functions Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem yesterday.

He said the state Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, World Conservation Society (WCS) and Borneo Adventure jointly conducted comprehensive nest survey to determine the orang utan’s population there recently.

“A total of 995 nests were found in the area and another 199 detected from aerial survey.

“Fresh nests were found in all transects, indicating the recent use of the area by this rare orang utan species (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus).

“With these findings, the government has decided to protect this area for the conservation of orang utan. We consider this area as HCVF,” he said.

The government would engage local communities and other stakeholders to explore conservation options such as eco-tourism potential without compromising the needs of the people and the orang utans’ habitat,” he said in his winding up speech.

Adenan said the sub species of Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus was the world’s rarest Bornean orang utans.

According to a report by Wich et al., 2008, this sub-species was listed as the most severely threatened wildlife worldwide with a total population of 3,000 to 4,500.

About 2,000 orang utans were recorded in Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in a study by Forest Department and WCS, he said.

Adenan said to date, the government had achieved 73% of the targeted six million hectares for Permanent Forest Estates, while for the targeted one million hectares of Totally Protected Areas (TPAs), it had achieved 57%.

He said the TPAs comprised 40 national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves covering about 568,000ha.

“In addition, about 206,344ha of water bodies have been gazetted as TPA. Hence a total of 774,800ha have been gazetted as TPAs,” he said.

In the last three years, the state had constituted Bungo Range National Park, Ulu Sebuyau National Park, Sampadi National Park, Gunung Mulu National Park (Extension I and II), Gunung Buda National Park (Extension) and Bukit Lima Nature Reserve, he said.

“Currently, another 734,246ha of new areas have been proposed and are in the initial stage of gazettement,” he said.


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