Ladang Kinabatangan Restoration


Organisations: MESCOT-KOPEL & Danau Girang Field Centre

Status: Completed

The MESCOT initiative is fundamentally concerned with protecting the Lower Kinabatangan’s forest habitat, wildlife and biodiversity while preserving the livelihood of the local population. It was founded by the residents of Batu Putih’s village in 1997. They formed a village-based cooperative (KOPEL Ltd) in 2003 to coordinate the villagers’ conservation activities and community-based ecotourism activities.

Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) collaborated with MESCOT on a forest restoration project and held a seminar where DGFC presented the advances of our research projects to the community.

Forest restoration
Ladang Kinabatangan, an oil palm estate near Batu Putih, encroached on a riparian reserve for over 25 years. MESCOT and DGFC jointly exposed the situation and, in 2014, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, reclaimed ten hectares of oil palms that had encroached the riparian reserve for the riparian reserve (20 acres 1.3 km long and 20-50 metres wide). Over 400 oil palm trees were excavated, and about 20,000 native trees were planted. DGFC has been supporting KOPEL in their restoration work and assisting with the research by monitoring the return of wildlife in the riparian reserve and by flying a drone yearly to monitor and study the forest recovery.

This partnership and reforestation programme continues today under the Danau Girang Field Centre’s Regrow Borneo Research Project.