by Jeremy Hance for mongabay.com
Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save orangutans, elephants, and rhinos amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries—conservationists and the palm oil industry—it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah’s embattled forests.
Participants of the meeting drew up a detailed plan that included creating wildlife buffer zones of 100 meters along all major rivers, connecting forest fragments, and barring any more land development in the lower Kinabatangan River. To much fanfare, the state government even pledged land acquisitions to make this happen. Five years later and conservationists say little has changed on the ground in the Kinabatangan landscape and the outlook for its wildlife may be even worse, however recent events hint that the government may now be ready to act.
This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of mongabay.com and can be read in its entirety here.