SELANGOR, 13 May — Yayasan Sime Darby (“YSD”) is funding RM2 million to Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to support the restoration of biodiversity, carbon sequestration and enhancement of ecosystem within the conservation-set-aside (CSA) areas in Sandakan Bay, Sabah across 3 years.
Vice Chancellor of UMS Prof. Datuk ChM. Ts. Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin today signed the agreement with YSD Council Member and Sime Darby Berhad (SDB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson, as witnessed by YSD CEO Dr Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin.
This project aims to restore approximately 102 hectares of the forest and riparian buffers within the oil palm landscapes in Sentosa, Tigowis, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tunku Estates in Sandakan Bay, Sabah, provided by Sime Darby Plantation Berhad. The area is located at the north of the Kinabatangan Corridor of Life.
According to Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson, YSD’s support for this initiative is an effort towards our focus area of ecosystem conservation, world-class research and execution, dissemination, and implementation of research results.
“On top of the direct support for the project, we are eager to see the benefits to the surrounding communities as well as to build the research and knowledge base on Sabah’s forests and biodiversity.
“This project is also important for us to see the effectiveness of rehabilitation and rehabilitation strategies to increase carbon stocks and biodiversity in Sandakan Bay as well as riparian buffer areas in the oil palm landscape. This research will also benefit all stakeholders as the results will be shared through e-manuals for industrial use,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prof. Datuk Dr Taufiq on behalf of UMS expressed his gratitude towards the collaboration with YSD for providing a good platform and financial support.
“UMS thankful for this collaboration, this will provide a good platform for our researchers and postgraduate students to do research with the financial support from Yayasan Sime Darby,” said Taufiq.
Led by the Faculty of Forestry at UMS, the project aims to contribute to comparing different restoration and rehabilitation strategies to enhance carbon storage and biodiversity within the Sandakan Bay Estates and the riparian buffer within its oil palm landscape; improve wildlife habitat by introducing intervention to increase food resources for frugivores; establish a baseline upon which long-term changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services could be monitored; and develop local talent with capability in forest restoration research through exposure for and training of both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
YSD’s is providing funds for the allowances of the personnel executing the research, scholarships grant for postgraduate students working on this project and for their attendance to related conferences, planting, transportation and equipment costs as well as funding for advocacy and awareness engagements such as workshops, developing e-manuals for industry use and the production of documentaries on this findings of this initiative.
This initiative is supported in kind by Sime Darby Plantation Berhad’s estates and is in line with Sime Darby Berhad’s sustainability blueprint theme of optimising their environmental and social footprint and Sime Darby Property Berhad’s 2030 sustainability goal of carbon sequestration.