Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) taking part in conservation programme for the Malaysian state of Sarawak
Situated on the island of Borneo, Sarawak is a Malaysian state known for its dense rainforest and protected parkland, home to indigenous tribes and endemic flora and fauna.
“The richness of Sarawak’s plant and animal life is internationally-renowned” explained Dr Peter Wilkie for RBGE. ““However, while Sarawak’s landscape has changed rapidly as development has progressed in recent decades, our understanding of the impact of changes -such as deforestation - to natural areas has lagged behind.”
This is why the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) has signed a five-way international Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Lee Kong Chian Museum of Natural History Singapore, the Wildlife Conservation Society and RBGE.
“This new scientific initiative is an important step forward in looking at how scientific research can help refine the management of Sarawak’s forests, especially its biologically-rich TPAs (Totally Protected Areas), in the interests of conservation” continued Dr Wilkie. As part of the initiative, four field sites have been selected for an intensified research programme. These include the lowland and hill forests of Nanga Segrak and Nanga Bloh in Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, and Nanga Delok in Bantang Ai National Park in the interior; all possess and maintain fully developed, well-equipped, field stations. A fourth field station will be built in the newly gazetted Ulu Sebuyau National Park, located in one of Sarawak’s most extensive areas of peatland and kerangas forests.