Local Palm Oil Industry Initiates Mega Wildlife Sanctuary

KOTA KINABALU: As part of an on-going initiative to prove to the

world that Malaysia is a responsible oil palm producer, a mega wild life

sanctuary involving 100,000ha of rainforest in an area of 300,000ha of

contiguous forest zones in Sabah is currently initiated by the Malaysian

oil palm industry and Sabah state government.

Malaysian Palm Oil

Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron said the proposed

wildlife sanctuary would have 100,000ha of nucleus with rehabilitation

and release function for orang utan and other wildlife.

“This

(the size of the wild life sanctuary) is over three times the size of

Singapore. “There are four million people in Singapore but only 11,000

orang utans in Sabah. This imply that if all the orang utans were to

live in the mega sanctuary, they have potentially more land base than

the people of Singapore by a factor of 1,350 times!,” said Yusof.

At

the same time, Yusof has call for the zoos in New Zealand and Australia

to start thinking of releasing orang utans back into the wild rather

than imprisoning them in confined spaces under cold and non-tropical

climates.

“Of course, they (orang utans) cannot complaint for

being imprisoned in the zoos. How can they …if only they can speak?”

quipped Yusof.

He said Malaysia however will need to raise more

funds for the mega sanctuary.

“The Malaysia Palm Oil Wildlife

Conservation Fund will continue to be ready to match any external

funding for this purpose,” he said adding that the Western environment

NGOs were also most welcome to make contributions towards this noble

effort.

On Monday, a Sabah Wildlife Rescue Centre has been set up

at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Sabah via a joint initiative between

the Sabah Wildlife Department, Shangri-La Rasa Ria Hotel and the MPOC.

An MOU was signed by the three organisations at the IPOSC attended

by 300 local and foreign participants here.

Source : The Star by Hanim Adnan

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