In the Media
Malaysia: Palm oil industry muscling out orang utans
November 22, 2011
Free Malaysia Today
About 300 orang-utans have vanished from the Lower Kinabatangan in the east coast of Sabah over the last seven years due to the fragmenting of the forests they live in, according to wildlife experts. Dr Marc Ancrenaz, scientific director of HUTAN – Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme (KOCP) – there is unmistakable evidence that the orang-utan population in Sabah is declining.
“The biggest threat to the orang-utan and other wildlife populations in Sabah today is fragmentation.”
While singling out Wilmar/PBB Oil for praise for replanting 382 hectares with 50 meters on the banks of the river, he said other big corporations where mostly riding on the coat-tails for such endeavours. “We mostly see signboards and newspaper articles but when you go to the ground you find that in reality it is all talk and no viable replanting is taking place,” said Ancrenaz.
He suggested that the money the government is spending for oil palm promotion such as the recent allocation of RM24 million for the Malaysian Oil Palm Council could instead be used for establishing real corridors and patches of forest in the Lower Kinabatangan. “This will not only help wildlife but also improve the water quality for local communities living along the river.”
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Keywords: Asia, deforestation, degradation, forest cover, Malaysia, oil, oil palm, palm oil, wild life