HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICT AND EVOLVING MITIGATION METHODS:
SABAH SOFTWOODS BERHAD'S EXPERIENCE
Mr. Ram Nathan shared with the audience his company’s experience in mitigating human wildlife conflicts, and how they collaborated with stakeholders in achieving this. SSB was incorporated in 1974 and is 70% owned by Yayasan Sabah. Its primary activities are oil palm and tree plantations on its 60,000 hectares of land. Out of this area, 7,000 hectares are reserved for conservation, while 3,000 hectares are earmarked for housing and infrastructure use.
It was reported that RM4.3 million damages have been caused by human-elephant conflicts (HECs) from the period of 2004-2015. In order to mitigate this, short-term measures (translocation, trenches, night patrol, oil lamps) and long-term measures (electric fencing) were implemented.
In order to enhance the success of the long-term measures, land use planning such as setting aside a wildlife corridor to facilitate elephant movements and planting of food crops for wildlife along the corridor were implemented. SSB’s wildlife corridor, measuring close to 14 km in length connects the Ulu Kulumpang forest reserve with Ulu Segama forest reserve.
Overall, RM2.4 million has been utilized for the mitigation measures, while the economic value of the excised area (for the wildlife corridor, if cultivated commercially) is RM20 million. Apart from its financial contributions, SSB has also formed a HEC working group with relevant stakeholders to enhance its HEC mitigation efforts.
This paper was presented at the “Biodiversity Forum 2016“, with the theme “Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation and Action in the Agricultural Sector” jointly organized by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) with Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) in Awana Genting Resort on 23rd – 24th May 2016.
Human Wildlife Conflict and Evolving Mitigation Methods Sabah Softwoods Berhad’s Experience
Reviewed by: Michael Ng Foo Yuen