Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby has earmarked more than $7 million to
restore a rainforest, home to the largest population of orangutans on
Borneo. The endowment is part of increased efforts to save what is left
of wilderness. From Kota Kinabalu, Luke Hunt reports.
donation followed a call from the Malaysian government for
contributions from companies to help rehabilitate the severely damaged
forests in the northern state of Sabah. The state, on Borneo island,
has seen widespread logging.
Sime Darby will devote $7.2 million
over 10 years in the Ulu Segama Malua Forest Reserve. The money will be
spent on replanting and securing a home for up to 500
orangutans across 5,400 hectares.
Sime Darby, which among other things operates oil palm plantations, says the endowment represents good corporate governance.
also shows the government commitment and seriousness about
conservation, especially our very endangered species like the
orangutan," says Musa Aman, Sabah's chief minister.
Orangutans are endangered large apes that live in the trees of Borneo's rainforests.
contributions for the Ulu Segama project have been promised from
British department store chain Marks and Spencer, the WWF environmental
group, and the Leaf Organization, which is dedicated to environmentally
friendly and sustainable farming.
Sabah has won international
praise for the way it has managed its rain forests. This is in contrast
to the devastation wreaked on the jungles of neighboring Kalimantan in
Indonesia, where forests are cut down to clear land for growing palm
oil or for timber.