Building Bridges
Integrating community development and conservation of
forests and biodiversity in the Kinabatangan River ...
Summary
The Shining Hope Foundation has provided financial support to HUTAN and its implementing partners from
September 2...
Financial Progress Report January to August 2013
Project spending between January and September 2013 was limited to a redu...
Budget period

Actual expenditure
(RM)
September to December MYR 93,123.95
2010
January to June 2011
MYR 130,981.13
July t...
Narrative Progress Report January – September 2013
Activity 1. Populations of orangutans, hornbills, and edible nest swift...
observation for the next two days. At some point, Otai climbed onto a palm and started to pick up fruits one by
one ate th...
SE Asia are targeted by hunters. The fact that one pair of Helmeted Hornbill may therefore be because of the
relatively ab...
sumatrana, Microcos sp, Mitrogyana speciosa, Diospyros sp, Neonauclea sp.). The survival and growth rates of
the planted s...
assessment. Additionally, evaluations of implementation strategies are now being undertaken to secure
targeted lands for c...
plantations. In the first six months of 2013, the Honorary Wildlife Wardens engaged in 90 ground patrols, 100
river patrol...
HEAP also involves Government partners such as the SWD and Environmental Protection Department when
possible to assist and...
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HUTAN Progress report jan-sept 2013

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HUTAN Progress report jan-sept 2013

  1. 1. Building Bridges Integrating community development and conservation of forests and biodiversity in the Kinabatangan River area, Sabah, Malaysia Final Progress Report 6, Jan – August 2013 HUTAN/KOCP IN PARTNERSHIP WITH People Nature Consulting International and Shining Hope Foundation 1
  2. 2. Summary The Shining Hope Foundation has provided financial support to HUTAN and its implementing partners from September 2010 to August 2013 to demonstrate that integrated management of environmental and socioeconomic aspects of land and natural resource management are needed to achieve long-lasting outcomes for sustainable biodiversity and environmental conserva tion as well as human development in tropical developing countries. Specifically, the project seeks to achieve a measureable improvement in the ecological conditions of Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and selected key stone species, and demonstrable improved welfare and well-being of selected target groups in the Kinabatangan community, through effective integration of community development with conservation of forests and biodiversity in the Kinabatangan River area. A final review of project activiti es, outcomes, and financial expenditures wa s conducted by Erik Meijaard from 10-12 November 2013 for the period January to September 2013. No field visit was included this time, and the reporting was done based on field reports submitted by individual units of HUTAN (OURS, HEAP, Wildlife th Wardens etc). The financial review was conducted in Kota Kinabalu on November 12 together with the HUTAN accountant and involved checking of receipts, compiling expenditures over the period and comparing these with predicted expenses. Information about project activities was obtained through interviews with several field staff. 2
  3. 3. Financial Progress Report January to August 2013 Project spending between January and September 2013 was limited to a reduced number of budget centers, as agreed by the Shining Hope Foundation, with a view towards reconciling actual spending needs with available budget (Table 1). This succeeded to reduce project overspending with regard to the budget as reported in previous reports. Thus, the total expenditure for the Shining Hope Foundation funds used by Hutan between September 2010 and August 2013 was approximately € 164,795.29 on a total disbursed budget of € 166,845.00, resulting in an absolute underspending of € 2049.71 (see Table 2 below). Based on these spending rates a budget revision is proposed for the final 9 months of the project to ensure that the final spending is in line with what was initially budgeted. Budget Expenses Spending% Expenses Budget period Ja n 13-Aug 13 (€) Ja n 13-Aug 13 (€) Ra te (over)/underspent (€) Salary Ahbam Abulani 5,688.89 5,897.89 103.67 209.00 Salary Hamisah Elahan 2,488.89 3,051.69 122.61 562.80 Salary Azri Sawang 5,475.56 5,021.89 91.71 -453.67 Fuel for boat 2,737.78 2,796.22 102.13 58.44 Petrol for car 2,737.78 2,450.78 89.52 -286.99 Photo camera - - - - Total Office costs and consumable - - - - Materials for HEAP activities in schools - - - - Training for HEAP staff - - - - Reforestation activities 3,768.89 4,043.06 107.27 274.17 Total Warden activities - - - - Total Equipment and uniform 1,232.00 1,110.47 90.14 -121.53 Education Camp/Activities - - - - Total Boat expenses - - - - Environmental awareness and training centre - - - - Total Orang utan bridges - - - - Helicopter monitoring - - - - Total Swift nest population and harvesting survey 2,737.78 2,810.29 102.65 72.51 Total Budget and Expenditures 26,867.56 27,182.30 101.17 314.74 Table 1. Total budget and expenditures from January to August 2013. Comments on budget Overspending in the early stages of the project with regard to projected budget expenditures was primarily caused by strengthening of the Malay Ringgit and price inflation. Regarding the exchange rate, the Malaysian Ringgit initially increased in value compared to the Euro from 4.5 at the start of the project to 3.85 at the end of 2012, but a relatively stronger euro has in 2013 resulted in similar MYR exchange rates as at the start of the project (MYR 4.45 to the Euro). No inflation correction was applied when the budget was developed. Average annual consumer price inflation in Malaysia was about 1.8% in 2012. 3
  4. 4. Budget period Actual expenditure (RM) September to December MYR 93,123.95 2010 January to June 2011 MYR 130,981.13 July to December 2011 MYR 132,095.54 Actual expenditure (Euro) ca. € 22,439 Forecasted budget requirements € 27,566.80 ca. € 30,819 ca. € 31,081 € 28,850.20 € 24,483.00 January to June 2012 July to December 2012 MYR 104,153.62 MYR 102,286.30 ca. € 26,706 ca. € 26,568 € 25,800.00 € 25,781.67 January to June 2013 July and August 2013 TOTAL MYR 94,198.91 MYR 28,121.42 ca. € 20,933.09 ca. € 6,249.20 ca. € 164,795.29 € 25,772.50 € 8,590.83 € 166,845.00 Table 2. Budget forecasts and actual expenditures 4
  5. 5. Narrative Progress Report January – September 2013 Activity 1. Populations of orangutans, hornbills, and edible nest swiftlets are regularly monitored by KOCP's Orangutan Research unit (OURS) Orangutan surveys Hutan’s intensive OrangUtan Research Site was established in 2 1998 in 6.2 km of secondary forests in Lot 2 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Reserve near the village of Sukau. A team of ten intensively trained local research officers - Hutan’s Orang-Utan Research Unit - take turns to track orangutans in the forest and conduct eco-ethological observations. A wide range of data are collected on standardized datasheet including dietary observations, feeding behaviour, social aspects and ranging patterns. Recently, the OURs team has witnessed the influx of several non-identified males (Figure 1) in the orangutan study site. Since the offspring’s of several resident females to the orangutan study site have reached the dispersing age and become independent of their mother, Hutan’s orangutan specialists think that these males could be coming in to check on the sexual status of these females. Hutan has also intensified their efforts to better understand the dynamics between orangutans and how they use the mature oil palm Figure 1. One of the unidentified plantations areas. orangutans encountered during surveys in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Reserve, Orangutans are very difficult to follow in the human-made oil Sabah. palm landscape since they hide or run away when human observers come too close to them. However, efforts to follow the orangutans into the oil palm landscape were successful in April 2013 when the team followed Otai, an adult unflanged male for two consecutive days inside an oil palm estate (Figure 2). The first morning, Otai left the forest and walked into the plantation bordering the northern side of our intensive study area. Although Otai has been followed by the OURs team for the past three years and is fully habituated, as soon as he entered in the plantation he started to display signs of stress and wariness. However, by hiding from him most of the time, the team managed to keep Otai under Figure 2. Otai in oil palm plantation. 5
  6. 6. observation for the next two days. At some point, Otai climbed onto a palm and started to pick up fruits one by one ate them (see pictures next page). The team was very excited by this observation since this is the first record of such behaviour of orangutan from the study site. Figure 3. Rarely observed behaviour of orangutan feeding on oil palm. Otai build a nest with the pal m plant, which means that orangutans are therefore using mature palm plants for nesting or as possible source of food. More long-term research is needed to better understand the rela tionship between orangutans and mature oil palm plantations in order to enhance the prospects of long-term survival of orangutan populations living in multiple-use landscapes. Hornbill surveys Hutan was excited to discover that a Helmeted Hornbill (Figure 4), one of the rarest of the eight hornbill species in Sabah, was found to be nesting in a tree within the orangutan study site. According to Ravinder Kaur, a PhD student working on hornbills, this is the first positive identification of a nesting site for this species of hornbill in Borneo! Unlike other hornbill species, the Helmeted Hornbill is extremely picky about selection of breeding sites. Like other hornbill species, it uses tree hollows to make its nests. The Helmeted Hornbill, however, being the largest of all Bornean species, needs the biggest nest hollows. Such hollows can only be found in large trees, almost exclusively with a diameter of more than 1 meter. Such trees are often removed during selective logging because of their high timber values. Logging therefore tends to displace Helmeted Hornbills more than other hornbill species that may still use smaller trees. Additionally, in recent years there has been a large increase in hunting Figure 4. Helmeted Hornbill and collecting of hornbills, primarily for use in the production of artifacts photographed in the Lower from horn. Also, there is apparently a demand for horn from the Kinabatangan. Chinese medicine markets. This now means that hornbills everywhere in 6
  7. 7. SE Asia are targeted by hunters. The fact that one pair of Helmeted Hornbill may therefore be because of the relatively absence of hunting and possibly because of ecological recovery of the Kinabatangan forests. Currently Hutan is monitoring the recently discovered nesting site. Nest swiftlet caves In 2012, Hutan decided to guard only the four bigger caves in Pangi FR containing the largest breeding swiftlet populations. Hutan hired 10 members of the Sukau community to guard the cave entrances from nest thieves and other intruders. Throughout the year, the 10 Pangi staff spent thei r entire time in the forest, taking turns day and night to patrol the Forest Reserve. No nests were harvested in 2012 to minimize the disturbance of the swiftlet breeding pairs. In addition to these guards, the Wildlife Wardens actively Figure 5. A swift nests poacher's camp found near Pangi. patrol the Pangi area to prevent the theft of birds nests. As a direct result of such an operation in 2013, the team found and dismantled a poacher’s camping sites and also apprehended 12 men who were then handed over to the authrorities for illegally entering a Forest Reserve and also for illegally harvesting the birds nest (pictures above). Ongoing risks of poaching indicate that the community program set up by Hutan to sustainably manage the Pangi swift nests caves requires further input. If cave protection efforts were reduced, all nests would likely be taken out within a very short time frame. Activity 2. Participate in forest rehabilitation programs in degraded orangutan ha bitat by reforestation In Kinabatangan, forest loss and fragmentation is jeopardising biodiversity by adversely affecting species’ distribution and dispersal patterns, lowering genetic diversity, and threatening habitats and ecosystem services. Planning for connectivity between forests blocks is now crucial to ensure the long-term viability of the Kinabatangan’s’ biodiversity. With the Kinabatangan Corridor Research Project, Hutan and its partners aim to design a network of conservation corridors and conservation expansion areas within the Kinabatangan. It uses a systematic conservation planning approach to identify high conservation value areas based on threatened species, priority habitats and aboveground carbon stock. Since January 2008 HUTAN has engaged in a project to rehabil itate crucial orangutan habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan. The project aims at recreating forest corridors for wildlife. Forest degradation and fragmentation in the Lower Kinabatangan region are the major threats to the long-term survival of wildlife and proactive measures are the key to success. Past logging activities have at places resulted in the destruction of the seed bank contained in the soil and have compacted the soil thus preventing natural forest regeneration. In order to recreate corridors for wildlife, particularly orangutans, native, fast-growing tree species are to be planted. Four village women were hired and trained for the initial phase of this project. Three plots were selected in the Lot 2 of the LKWS and a total of 1,752 seedlings were planted of 6 different tree species known to be commonly consumed by orangutans at the HUTAN’s Sukau Research site (i.e. Dracontomelon dao, Octomeles 7
  8. 8. sumatrana, Microcos sp, Mitrogyana speciosa, Diospyros sp, Neonauclea sp.). The survival and growth rates of the planted seedlings were monitored monthly. It was established that while some species prefer dry open areas, others survive and grow better in shaded humid areas. Octomeles sumatrana (or “Binuang”) was the fastest growing species with an average growth of 36.5 cm per month. Trampling by elephants and predation by pigs, deers, snails, caterpillars and other insects mostly caused seedling mortality. Figure 6. Norianah, Zaiton, Darianah and Asmidah, the hard working tree planting ladies. Photo by HUTAN/Shernytta Poloi. To prevent the elephants to destroy the seedlings, each plot had to be protected by an electric fence. We also valued the seedling needs for maintenance such as weeding to ensure optimal survival and growth (frequency and methods of weeding). Previous tree planting experiments by HUTAN showed that a minimum of 2 to 3 years of regular weeding around the trees planted is needed. It therefore appears that the overall costs for efficient forest rehabilitation are much higher than the mere cost of the seedlings, mostly because the maintenance needs (workers’ salary, boats and petrol to access the plots, electric fences) to ensure the survival of the young trees are high. Figure 7. Electric fencing at a reforestation plot. Photo by HUTAN/Harjinder Kler. Progress in 2013 included the incorporation of conservation opportunities and constraints into the planning process. Land value information and agricultural productivity maps were thus integrated into the planning 8
  9. 9. assessment. Additionally, evaluations of implementation strategies are now being undertaken to secure targeted lands for conservation, focusing on mechanisms such as carbon payments from Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), certified sustainable palm oil certification under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the combined alternative of these mechanism RT- REDD+. To integrate these data a specialised area selection algorithm is being developed to select areas based on conservation values and associated financial costs a nd benefits. Activity 3. Reinforce the successful “Honorary Wildlife Warden” project that is being developed in the Kinabatangan Since 2005, Hutan has worked with the Sabah Wildlife Department on a model project where members of the local community are directly involved in the management and protection of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 allows the Sabah Wildlife Department to appoint selected members of the public as “Honorary Wildlife Wardens” (HWW). By the end of 2012, a total of 565 HWWs were appointed and trained by the Sabah Wildlife Department in Sabah. Hutan now counts 16 members of the Kinabatangan community as HWW. The HWW are members of the public working voluntarily to enforce the State wil dlife law. In 2012, the head of Hutan’s HWW team was re-elected as a member of the Sabah Honorary Warden & Ranger Association’s steering committee. HUTAN and Danau Girang Field Center (DGFC) launched the “River Keeper Unit” (Figure 8) in 2013. This unit is made up of Figure 8. The new River Keepers Unit two field research assistants originating from Sukau who used to work with KOCP’s “Elephant Conservation Unit”. The specific goal of this unit is to regularly patrol the Kinabatangan River to ensure that tourist boats do not come too close and disturb elephants and other wildlife species. The unit is also in charge of developing and enforcing best management practices for tourism viewing in lower Kinabatangan. Enforcement and conflict mi tigation activities still play a crucial role in the conservation of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounding villagers, forest and Figure 9. Newspaper article highlighting the new River Keeper Unit 9
  10. 10. plantations. In the first six months of 2013, the Honorary Wildlife Wardens engaged in 90 ground patrols, 100 river patrols and 35 events of elephant mitigation control. In May 2013, the team had to do mitigate a potential human-wildlife conflict when the energizer (which powers the electric fence) was stolen from the local cemetery. Elephants seem to favour the route via this cemetry and unfortunately once again disturbed several graves which in turns is a cause of understanble distress among local community. The team protected the graves from the elephants until a replacement energizer was obtained by the village committee. Activity 4. Develop a training platform in the Lower Kinabatangan for national and international conservation professionals, staff of relevant government agencies, Malaysian students, project staff and local communities (including the upgrading of the existing infrastructure) HUTAN was asked to assist the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) to conduct a rapid biodiversity survey to justify the State Government’s case to re-acquire 400 hectares of forest area that was to be converted to oil palm after they were alerted to the importance of the said area by the Borneo Rhino Alliance for possible sighting of the Sumatran Rhino which is on the verge of extinction in Sabah. The area is also a corridor between two protected Forest Reserves, Bukit Kretam and Kulumba Wildlife Res erve. Following the results of our findings, the State Cabinet agreed to the re-acquisition of this area for its importance of wildlife including the Sumatran Rhino and orangutans as well. While the details of the re-acquisition is on-going, the land has been secured for wildlife. In 2013, Hutan was also active in several training programs for the Sabah Forestry Department, specifically regarding monitoring techniques. Activity 5. Environmental education programmes for school children in Sabah through the HEAP program, with the following specific interventions: In 2003, Hutan created a special program to address the general lack of awareness on environmental conservation issues in the Lower Kinabatangan. In 2007, this unit was named “Hutan Environmental and Awareness Program” (HEAP) which subsequently extended its scope to schools and communities throughout Sabah. HEAP’s main goal is to incorporate and support Hutan’s overall mission. HEAP’s activities, including environmental education, community awareness programmes and capacity building, aim at strengthening the impact and effectiveness of the other Hutan units. HEAP continues its objective to bring Environmental Education (EE) to rural communities that have the most contact and affect on the natural environment. As the efforts intensify, HEAP has been able to have EE events in 25 schools in four different districts in Sabah for the first six months of 2013. As a direct result, the team has interacted with 200 teachers and 3,000 students bring the message of the importance of our natural heritage to rural communities. Figure 10. The HEAP team at work in Kinabatangan schools. 10
  11. 11. HEAP also involves Government partners such as the SWD and Environmental Protection Department when possible to assist and strengthen the events. We are also part of the very active Sabah Environmental Education Network (SEEN) and work together with other partners whenever possible to reinforce efforts and avoid duplication of events/programmes. The highly praised “Fishermen for Conservation” initiated by HUTAN continues to spread to other villagers with HEAP being the lead coordinator. In January, the local community in Paitan adopted the sustainable fishing traps. The official handover event was attended by the local Government officials and carried by most Sabah newspapers (Figure 11). Figure 11. One of the many local newspapers articles promoting environmentally sustainable management and the work by Hutan. 11

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