Govt's commitment for Sabah-wide certification could halt declining orangutan

06 Aug 2017 / 16:38 H.

SANDAKAN: Sabah's commitment to jurisdictional certification of its palm oil could be the answer for landscape level conservation of high conservation value (HCV) forests outside of protected areas in the Kinabatangan region.
A certified palm oil up to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard offers a solution, as the standard prohibits new planting of oil palm in such areas.
"If these are strengthened, scaled up and embedded within broader legal and institutional frameworks, they could shift the trajectory of the oil palm in Borneo towards more responsible forms of production," said Ridge to Reef co-director Holly Jonas.
Jonas had taken part in the case study entitled, "Addressing the Impact of Large-Scale Oil Palm Plantations on Orang utan Conservation in Borneo: A Spatial, Legal and Political Economy Analysis," which said the window of opportunity to protect several key orangutan populations in their natural habitat would close in the near future if the business as usual scenario continues.
At present oil palm covers over 80% of the Lower Kinabatangan besides dominating the orangutan's preferred habitat of tropical lowland and peatland rainforests.
It was also recently reported that the orangutan population in the Lower Kinabatangan has dropped by 30% since 2001. — Bernama

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