Sabah Wildlife signs MoU with APE for reforestation and wildlife projects

KOTA KINABALU: A company will be working with the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) on reforestation and wildlife projects in the state.

The department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Animal Projects & Environmental Education Sdn. Bhd. (APE Malaysia) to signify collaborations.

The MoU will see APE Malaysia continue working with SWD for reforestation projects within the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS).

The effort will reconnect the fragmented forest areas to create safe passageways for wildlife like the Bornean pygmy elephants and orangutans.

It will plant 30 species of native trees in four lots within the LKWS in the next five years.

SWD director Augustine Tuuga said such a collaboration was a good example of private and state partnerships in conservation efforts.

"By working together in reforestation and wildlife welfare projects, it shows that conservation efforts are not just the responsibility of the state, any party can do their part and we all have the responsibility to work together to help save and conserve our environment.

"The Covid-19 pandemic brings extra challenges for every party in conservation efforts, so partnerships like this will ensure that our wildlife continues to benefit during this difficult time," Augustine said after the signing ceremony at Wisma Muis here.

Present were his deputy director Jum Rafiah Abd Sukor. APE Malaysia was represented by its project director Mark Louis Benedict and project Manager Sumira Muis.

Mark said they were happy to be given the opportunity to work together with SWD as they believe in helping wildlife in Sabah by planting trees in wildlife centres and through enrichments activities.

APE Malaysia had previously conducted a few enrichment projects at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

It has also been working on improving wildlife welfare standards and forging friendships between Malaysian and international zookeepers.

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