River basin management strategies in Malaysia are taking account of important habitats for endangered plant and animal species
The Lower Kinabatangan region is rich in biodiversity, with waterlogged and dry forests, saline and freshwater swamps, and limestone forests. It has around 1,000 plant species and 50 mammal species, including primates, many endemic to the region.
The World Wide Fund for Nature and the Sabah Wildlife Department established the 26,000 ha Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in 2005 which also included a forest corridor to absorb floodwaters and conserve wildlife habitats. Over time, a constructive working relationship has been formed between palm oil producers, local communities and the government. Since the forest corridor is currently fragmented into ten sections, efforts are being made to acquire more private land to fill in the gaps and create a contiguous sanctuary.
This is an excerpt of a case study from WaterWealth, a publication on basin management across Asia and the Pacific. WaterWealth is available for download on the
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