KOTA KINABALU: Local communities living along the nation’s second longest waterway, the Sungai Kinabatangan, are being roped in to help in a forest restoration project aimed at tackling climate change.
Villagers living around the Batu Putih area will be involved in the restoration of degraded riparian reserves or forests along riverbanks about the size of 2,500 soccer fields.
The land belongs to state-owned firm Sawit Kinabalu Sdn Bhd.
Sabah Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Sam Mannan said under the project funded by the European Union, local native tree species such as bangkang kuning, sapat and payung payung would be planted in the riverbank forests.
“This is an unprecedented initiative as involves local communities to help tackle climate change,” he said yesterday.
He said the three-year project would cost about RM3,000 per hectare.
The project is among the eight memoranda of understanding (MoU) the department will be inking with various agencies and NGOs at the 9th Heart of Borneo conference here on Oct 24-25.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman is scheduled to launch the conference.
One MoU is with the state Wildlife Department and WWF Malaysia on the setting up more forest corridors in Sabah’s interior for the movement of migratory animals including elephants and orang utan.
Another is with the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency for the setting up of a remote sensing application system and database for the planning, management and monitoring of Sabah forests.
There will also be a deal with state-owned Yayasan Sabah and the Sabah Environmental Trust to start an enforcement and monitoring team for the Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon conservation areas.
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