Oil palm plantations: Project area on Borneo, Malaysia.
Photo: ©Robert Risch


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Researchers aim to develop a blueprint for converting overused agricultural areas – such as oil palm plantations – into near-natural rainforests.

An alliance of conservationists and researchers is converting oil palm plantations into near-natural rainforests on Borneo, the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB) reported in late November 2019. In this way, the high biodiversity of the tropical rainforests and an important wildlife corridor can be restored. The research project is to serve as a blueprint for future conversion measures in Malaysia and Indonesia. 

The aim is to establish a wildlife corridor between the Tabin and Kulamba protected areas in the east of the Malaysian state of Sabah, the researchers say. Currently, the protected areas are separated by oil palm plantations. These plantations pose a particular threat to orangutans and dwarf elephants. The animals go to the plantations in search of food and are often killed there because of the damage they cause.

Establishing wildlife corridors

The first step in establishing the wildlife corridor is to secure the central palm oil cultivation areas and the adjacent areas.

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