Primary contents from here.
Activities to Restore the Tropical Rainforests and Conserve Borneo's Ecosystem
A worldwide issue, the striking decline and deterioration of tropical rainforests and the accompanying collapse of ecosystems was pointed out at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UN Earth Summit) held in Brazil in 1992, but even today it has not stopped. In addition, it is also said that the destruction of forests is a source of the increase in CO₂ that is a cause of global warming.
The island of Borneo (Kalimantan) is a tropical rainforest region extending across the three nations of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. With a surface area that is approximately 1.9 times that of Japan, it is the third largest island in the world.
Ranked with the Amazon, the island of Borneo is considered a treasure house of biodiversity, but recently development has made headway and some of the tropical rainforests have been damaged to the degree that it is not possible to preserve the ecosystem with natural regenerative power alone. This program is designed to assist with the regeneration of these damaged rainforests. In the northeast of Borneo, at North Ulu Segama in the state of Sabah in Malaysia, where ITOCHU supports an area for rainforest regeneration, WWF, an international conservation organization, is collaborating with the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD), to carry out reforestation of an area of approximately 2,400 hectares. Within the area, the ITOCHU Group is supporting the regeneration of 967 hectares. This is the largest area of responsibility for a restoration project undertaken by any private company. The land in question is also a habitat for orangutans, an endangered species. The reforestation not only protects the orangutans ; it is linked to the protection of many living creatures whose habitat is here.
Planting of 690 hectares had been completed as of the end of November 2012, and reforestation of all the 967 hectares is scheduled to be completed by the end of FY2015. After that, on-site maintenance work will continue through FY2017.
It takes a long time to regenerate a tropical rainforest. Five years alone are not enough. However, taking this opportunity, both employees and Group companies are cooperating, aiming to regenerate a forest where the animals can live in peace.
2. News from Borneo
Please take a look at the tour report of impressive experiences in Borneo.
3. Program Description
From FY2010 to FY2014 (Originally scheduled for 5 years, but the on-site work will continue through FY 2017)
Borneo (North Ulu Segama, Sabah, Malaysia)
967 hectares (slightly larger than a 3 km x 3 km square area)
A total of 250 million yen (including donations from Group companies)
We will plant species of trees that are appropriate to local conditions with the focus on the local Dipterocarpaceae species. We will plant trees and undertake maintenance for a period of five years. Please refer to 4 (5)
We are involved in local reforestation activities (tree-planting, cutting undergrowth), wildlife observation, and other activities by employee volunteers, including those from Group companies.
4. WWF Program Outline
- * The reference material predates the decision by ITOCHU to support the project.
Reforestation Activities in the North Ulu Segama on Borneo: Revive! The Forest of the Orang-utan, an Endangered Species
To undertake reforestation of an area of 2,400 hectares with high conservation priority and requiring human intervention due to severe deterioration in the state of Sabah, Malaysia.
(2) The Significance of the Location
A diversity of plants and indigenous species, including the orang-utan, inhabit the island of Borneo, which is a treasure house of biodiversity. To cite one example, the orang-utan, the mammal that is the symbol of Borneo, is an endangered species of primate that only survives on Borneo and Sumatra. In 2005, WWF established areas of particularly high priority as habitats for the orang-utan on Borneo: three areas on Indonesian territory and in Sabah, Malaysia. The five areas listed below (in order of importance), in Sabah, are of particular significance.
The decline in the headcount for native orang-utans is caused by the overall decline of forested areas as well as the splitting off of forested areas. Securing the habitat is directly linked to the preservation of the forest ecosystem on Borneo.
Major habitats in Sabah
|Ulu Segama Malua||3,000||5,000|
|Tabin Wildlife Reserve||1,200||1,400|
|Kinabatangan lower reaches||400||1,100|
|Kulamba Wildlife Reserve||210||500|
(3) Significance of the Activities
In the most important area of Ulu Segama Malua (USM), logging for timber started in the early 1960s but was stopped as of January 2008. Then, the State Government of Sabah invited WWF Malaysia to join the team to produce a ten-year plan for USM forest management. In this way, the opportunity for protection is increased and the work can go ahead in an environment where it is easy to promote conservation activities to achieve the following four goals.
- 1. To protect the biodiversity and genotype by restoring the Dipterocarpaceae forests in the lowlands where many species survive.
- 2. To secure for the long term a habitat for large primates and endangered species.
- 3. To save indigenous species from the crisis of extinction.
- 4. To secure for the long term an environment where the separated forests are linked together to allow wild animals to move over a wider range and to secure food.
In Ulu Segama Malua, and particularly in North Ulu Segama where deforestation is severe, there are approximately 90 orang-utans, but, since the deterioration is too severe, there is no prospect for forest regeneration without human intervention such as planting trees and clearing the undergrowth. It has been decided to restore 2,400 hectares of forest in this area. The Ulu Segama Malua area is a forest reserve where commercial use is allowed and, as is the case with other forest reserves, the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) owns the land. WWF has already established a local office here and have a team in place to monitor the orang-utans. The target area is divided into three blocks; work has started in one block with funding from:
- Marks & Spencer (UK)
- The Addesium Foundation (Netherlands)
- WWF UK
- WWF Germany
- WWF US
(5) Tree species being planted
Below is a list of some of the common tree species being planted.
|Local name of species||scientific name||commercial name|
|Seraya Kepong||Shorea ovalis||Seraya|
|Kapur Paji||Dryobalanops lanceolata||Kapur|
|Seraya Tembaga||Dipterocarpus caudiferus||Keruing|
|Seraya Daun Kasar||Shorea fallax||Seraya|
|Kawang Jantung||Shorea macrophylla||Tengkawang|
|Selangan Jangkang||Hopea nervosa||Merawan|
|Urat Mata Daun Licin||Parashorea mallanonan||White seraya|
|Seraya Daun Mas||Shorea argentifolia||Seraya|
|Seraya Punai||Shorea parvifolia||Red seraya|
|Seraya Kuning||Shorea kudatensisi||Yellow seraya|
- * In practice many other tree species have been planted.