Our Projects

Northern Ulu Segama Reforestation and Rehabilitation for OrangUtan habitats

Over the rolling hills of the Northern Ulu Segama Forest Reserve (presently known as the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve), three Orangutan nests were perched on trees planted by Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) in 2009 under its Northern Ulu Segama Reforestation and Rehabilitation for Orang Utan habitats project.

The nests were spotted during a visit to the forest reserve in early December 2016. Empty of its inhabitants, the nests were vestiges of the presence of the Asian great ape in the forest reserve.

But Orangutan presence in the forest reserve was not always evident. Ravaged by forest fires and adverse logging practices, the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve’s Orangutan population was on a steady trajectory of decline due to habitat loss.

Realising the need to protect Orangutan habitats in the forest reserve, Sime Darby Group and its philanthropic arm YSD pledged RM25 million in 2008 over a period of ten years to reforest and rehabilitate the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve.

The project aims to reforest and rehabilitate 5,400ha of the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve.

Coupled with the expertise of the Sabah Forestry Department’s expertise, the effort is now bearing fruit.

Since its inception in 2009, the project has rehabilitated 4,724ha of degraded forest, with 350,000 seedlings of indigenous dipterocarps, non-dipterocarps and pioneer trees (95 species) planted.

The forest condition has gradually improved from being labelled as most degraded to the most stable area populated by wildlife with improving canopy cover.

The Orangutan population in the forest reserve, estimated at around 250 to 300 individuals according to WWF Malaysia, has stabilised.

The project achieved another milestone in 2012 when the Bukit Piton Forest Reserve was re-classified as a Class 1 Protection Forest Reserve or Totally Protected Area status, from its original status as Class 2 Commercial Forest Reserve.

Under the law, the reclassification protects the area from potential encroachment or development activities, as it is not allowed to be used or converted for other land use purposes, thus also ensuring protection of the Orangutan habitats.

That is not all.

As the project also roped in the Segama community to aid in reforestation and rehabilitation efforts, villagers are now increasingly aware on the importance of protecting vital habitats and ecosystems for wildlife conservation as well as for future generations.

The community take it upon themselves to alert authorities of any encroachment or poaching activities.

The Bukit Piton Forest Reserve is slowly reviving and thriving, proving that atrophied ecosystems can be restored, if only we take sincere efforts to help it heal.

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Last Updated:
19 May 2017
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