Chapter 10: Conservation of Biodiversity and Protection of Ecosystem Management

Wildlife management aims to develop long term conservation strategies to safeguard the wildlife populations to provide some general principles for reducing the impact on wildlife during operation in the proposed FMU and simultaneously promote awareness among the employees in logging camps and the local communities on the importance of wildlife conservation to the forest ecology. 

Management Strategies and Recommendations

  • Preservation of habitats and roaming grounds – For long-term measure, buffer zones or corridors of trees on both sides of the main, first and second order of streams and rivers system shall be established and reserved.
  • Identification and management of protection and conservation of saltlicks – This is to allow animals, especially hoofed animals, such as Sambar deer, Barking deer and even monkeys to come and visit these “salt licks” for mineral supplement to their diet.
  • Control of Hunting – By strict adherence of DF Circular No. 6/99 on wildlife conservator and improvement of gate control/guard house.
  • Education and Preventive Measures – To instill awareness about wildlife management to forest workers.

Identification and Management of Protection Areas

Protection areas were identified based on the need for conservation.  There are 3 main fundamental for conservation will be identified such as conservation areas for protection of soil, rivers and wildlife.

The following criteria were used as reference for assessment:

  • Non-commercial or poor timber stocking area for conservation of soil and flora and fauna.
  • Site sensitive area.
  • The presence/ absence of gazetted water catchment areas.
  • Wildlife conservation area for example saltlicks, wallows and migration route.
  • Community use area.
  • Potential eco-tourism sites.
  • Potential high conservation value forests.
  • Sites of special cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance.

Management of Protected and Conservation Areas

No.CategoriesManagement Requirements
1.Non-Commercial or Poorly Stocked AreaLow stocking area will be excluded from FMU harvesting area.
2.Permanent WaterwayRiparian buffer zone as approved in EIA by NREB will be identified and demarcated with recommended width on the ground.
3.Steep SlopeSteep Terrain IV or slope greater than 35° as indicated in Sarawak Forestry Map B will be mapped and excluded from harvesting within Mengiong – Gaat FMU.
4.Water CatchmentsTo identify on map and demarcated on ground for protection.
5.Boundary and Totally Protected AreaBuffer zone of 0.1 km width in radius will be demarcated on ground for protection.
6.Critical Resource and SitesBuffer zone of width 100 m surrounding identified critical resources and sites such as saltlick to be mapped and demarcated on ground.
7.Research Plot and Permanent Sample Plot (PSP)PSP established by FMU will be protected with at least 20 m buffer surrounding the plot perimeter boundary.
8.Community Use Area and Cultural or Religious Sites (if any)Free, prior, informed and consent (FPIC) will be applied to community use area, cultural site and religious site and demarcated on ground for protection purposes.
9.Potential Tourism AreaPotential ecotourism and recreational sites would be identified and demarcated on ground (if any).
10.High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF)To identify as protected area, to mark on map and demarcated on ground

High Conservation Value Areas Assessment Findings

HCV Assessment, likes EIA and SIA, involves the participation of the local communities.  It is done by using the Malaysian Toolkit which was developed by WWF.  HCV can be categorized into 6 categories as follows:

2019 2020
1.1Protected areaNot Present Not PresentNo TPA next to FMU
1.2Threatened and endangered species PresentPresent ERT species
1.3Endemic species PresentPresent Protected species
1.4 Critical temporal use Present Present 2 saltlicks
2.0 LANDSCAPE LEVEL ECOSYSTEM Present Present Baleh Protected Forest
3.0 ECOSYSTEM AND HABITAT Not Present Not Present  
4.1Water catchment Present Present Within Kapit water catchment
4.2Erosion control PresentPresent Riparian area
4.3Barriers to the destructive fire Present Present Ulu Sg. Plak
5.0 COMMUNITY NEED PresentPresent Along major river drainage
6.0 CULTURAL VALUES Not Present Not Present  

High Conservation Value(s)

  • There are 4 out of 6 HCVs as listed in the HCVF Malaysia Toolkit presence in the FMU.
  • There are 22 fauna and 36 floras threatened and endangered species found in the studied sites (HCV 1.2).
  • There are 19 endemic flora and 12 endemic fauna species (HCV 1.3).
  • Areas for critical temporal use ware identified (HCV 1.4).
  • The FMU is located within the Gaat – Mengiong Working Plan area and it is a significant large landscape forest for wildlife species to exist in natural patterns of distribution.  In a regional perspective, the main riverine reserves is served as wildlife reservoirs and corridors with adjacent FTL area within the Gaat – Mengiong Management plan and is under part of the Kapit Stateland Forest and the Baleh Protected Forest initiatives (HCV 2).
  • Based on forest type classification, the Mixed Dipterocarp Forest (MDF) within the FMU is divided into lowland and upper Dipterocarp forests.  Both forest types are accorded as medium priority for conservation by National Conservation Strategy (NCS) List of Priority Habitat.  No distinct Heath Forest (Kerangas Forest) was detected in the FMU but rather a mixture of Heath and MDF forest were detected on the surrounding ridges of steep hills (HCV 3).
  • The FMU is located within Kapit Water Catchment and the legally gazette Baleh Water Catchment.  Terrain Classes III and IV are present within the FMU (HCV 4.1).
  • The FMU has identified riparian areas and Terrain Class IV in the FMU (HCV 4.2).
  • No history of forest fire was found within the FMU.  Adjacent forest containing other HCVs is considered potentially present even though no records or data of HCVs were found during the assessment.  HCVs information on surrounding areas may be available if adjacent FTL areas are conducting their HCVF assessment in the future.  The FMU is only surrounded by FTL areas; there is some human settlement either inside or located within 5 km adjacent to the licensed boundary (HCV 4.3).
  • No evidence of forest use by communities was found within the FMU.  Being remotely located to the Hose Mountain Border and surrounded by FTL areas, there is some human settlement either inside or located within 5 km adjacent around the FMU boundary (HCV 5).
  • No evidence and record of critical forest use from any community was found within the FMU (HCV 6).

Summaries of Management and Monitoring Recommendations for HCV

No.Management RecommendationAction Taken
1Demarcation of the buffer zone for forest reserved along the reserviour boundaryA 100 m buffer zone along the forest reserved in the reserviour was marked in General Harvesting Plan (GP) and approved by Forest Department Sarawak (FDS).  
2Monitoring of perimeter of buffer belt to have identification on any encroachment.Monitoring on all logging roads including the existing and old logging roads.Speed limitation of logging trucks and vehicles on the using of logging road to minimize the accidents in the FMU.
No.Management RecommendationAction Taken
3Maintenance of the protection on protected species under forestry Rules.All Endangered, Rare and Threatened (ERT) species listed in the Wildlife Protection Ordinance were not allowed to fell.
4To carry out marking on the protected trees during reduced impact logging to prevent felling accidentally.Tree for protection has been implemented in previous Coupe 15A (I) (planned as Coupes 6 & 7 in the recently proposed new GP).  
5Measures taken in assessing endangered, rare, and threatened  species in new coupes before commencing harvesting and trees tagging of all trees to be harvested.Training on ERT species was conducted by FDS at Sapphire Camp (KM-102) in July, 2019.Follow-up training on ERT was conducted by our in-house Honorary Wildlife Ranger in October, 2019.
6A training on the workers on recognition of protected species will be further improve the identification of these species within the FMU.One training session has been conducted by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) from 8th July, 2019 to 14th July, 2019 in Sapphire Camp (KM-102).  
7An education is on the local communities in recognizing protecting sites and wildlife.A briefing on the protected sites and wildlife was held in July, 2019 in the Mutiara Base Camp (KM-28).Awareness training program on ERT was conducted to forest workers at Mutiara Base Camp (KM-28).  
8Honorary Wildlife Rangers and surveyors were instructed to monitor the presence of wildlife population in order to assess the number of these species before the commencement of forest harvesting activities. The baseline data was collected by WTK’s consulting on the status of mammal and avifauna species with recommendation for its management.The opportunity in monitoring the presence of wildlife population has also been conducted during the Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) exercise.  The assessment was done in 2019.An internal wildlife survey through patrolling was conducted by Trained Honorary Wildlife Rangers in July 2019.A survey on the species distribution in the FMU by surveyors was conducted in June, 2019.Wildlife posters and Policy on “No Hunting” were made available in the FMU.
9An annual assessment with data collected during monitoring.Based on the data collected in the pre-harvest, inventory has basic information on ERT of 1.8 trees/hectare recorded in the 15 PSPs in Coupes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 21 and Block 1 of Coupe 1 (planned as Coupe 1 in the proposed GP).Monitoring in previous Coupe 15A (I), 2019 (planned as Coupes 6 and 7 in the proposed new GP) is still in progressing.
10The construction of guard house and gate in order to control on the hunting activities.A security gate and guards house has been constructed in the main entrance of FMU in 2019 with records of ingress (in) and egress (out) of workers and local communities (if any).Based on recording book, there was very few local communities entered into our FMU for hunting activity.
11A Wildlife Ranger in patrolling and detecting illegal activities with reporting to Forest Department Sarawak (if any).Two (2) Trained Honorary Wildlife Rangers were appointed for Mengiong – Gaat FMU in July, 2019. More staff to be trained as Honorary Wildlife Rangers in Year 2022.  
12Camera trapping system to be installed for determination of ERT species to-date.A total of 3 camera traps has been installed in October, 2019 covers both active and post logging area, i.e. the previous Coupe 15A (I) (planned as Coupes 6 & 7 in the recently proposed new GP).Based on recently monitoring record, there were a total of 14 species has been captured through camera traps and hand held camera both in the post-harvesting Coupes 1 and 6 of the proposed new GP and active Coupe 15A (I), 2019.
13In order to confirm the endemic species,  more studies need to be conducted for more details information  The assessment of flora species was also conducted during the pre-harvesting inventory work. Assessment of fauna species was conducted through hand held camera and camera trapping system in Coupes 1 and 6.Based on the HCVF Assessment done by consultant, the HCV is considered as present.Recommended that:A training session on the identification of ERT species to be maintained.A continuous monitoring the presence of wildlife especially on endemic species.
No.Management RecommendationAction Taken
14Mengiong – Gaat FMU with saltlicks in Coupes 1 and 6 of new GP.Two (2) saltlicks have been identified by the local peoples and survey crews in Coupe as new Coupes 1 and 6 and monitoring has been done.
15A 100 m x 100 m of buffer zone reserve shall be marked around the saltlicks in order to prevent the visiting wildlife being interfered from normal.Demarcation of 100 m x 100 m on ground for saltlicks sites in new Coupes 1 and 6 was done in year 2019. 
16Saltlicks shall only mark on map and demarcate on ground but there should be no signboard so as to attract the hunters.The buffer zone for saltlicks shall only be marked on map and demarcated on ground but not to put up signage for indicating the location of saltlicks sites, instead can put up signage on HCV 1.4.
17To conduct continuous monitoring of population and diversity of wildlife is through the installation of more camera traps.A more reliance result is through collaboration with the local communities to who may know the forest well.Three (3) camera traps have been set up in the two (2) saltlicks areas and monitoring in Coupes 1, 6 and 14 of the proposed new GP.According to Honorary Wildlife Rangers, there was no poaching activites found in the previous Coupe 15A (I).The monitoring in new Coupe 1 is still in progressing as it is planned an active coupe.
No.Management RecommendationAction Taken
18A map showing the Kerangas Forest Ecosystem.The Native Customary Right (NCR) Forest has been shown in the HCV map. 
19A demarcation on ground and marked on mapThe demarcation on ground shall be done after Detailed Harvesting Plan (DP) approved by FDS.
20Field workers will be informed for not to carry out harvesting activities and detail planning map must mark the status of protected area.The protection status must clearly mark on the DP map.Field instruction with ground demarcation of the area is to avoid harvesting activities in the protected area.
No.Management RecommendationAction Taken
21Establishment of inventory plots in order to assess the vegetation types to compare its unique features with similar forest type.Certain portion of the FMU is inaccessible by road.  Therefore, the survey crew is expected to carry out ground reconnaissance during the establishment of inventory plots.There is no encroachment captures during the cleaning of the existing M-1 and M-2 in May, 2019.
22Mapping is completed and followed by demarcation on ground in active areas.Initially there is one (1) water catchment was identified within Mengiong – Gaat, namely Mutiara (28 KM) camp with nursery site and temporary skid house was lying inside the FMU boundary. .All water catchments have been mapped and demarcated for protection in June, 2019.Review of HCVF in 2019 shown that our FMU is located within Kapit Water Catchment and the legally gazette Baleh water catchment but it is not falling the 8 km radius of the water intake point.  Therefore, logging activities is not restricted.  HCV 4.1(3) is considered present.
23The annual monitoring of boundary and signageThe boundary and signage monitoring on the one water catchment were conducted in May 2019.Review of HCV in 2019 shows that none of the above water catchment is gazette as water catchment under Principle 9 of the MC&I (Natural Forest).
HCVManagement Recommendation
4.2Terrain Class IV area are mapped and included in DP as per GP (if any).Terrain Class IV shall also be mapped in the Comprehensive Harvesting Plan too.There will be no new skid trails inside the Terrain IV area.  To reuse the existing roads and skid trials.The Terrain IV has already been marked and mapped in the approved GP.  Therefore, DP shall follow GP for the annual coupe and also Comprehensive Harvesting Plan during the blocking.Terrain IV shall be marked and demarcated on ground with blue colour paint.The ground based bulldozers are not recommended for slope greater than 35° in slope and Low Impacts Logging (LIL) System such as yarder cable line system is recommended for harvesting, if any.
HCVMonitoring Recommendation
4.2The monitoring is to ensure this Terrain IV area being not encroached.

Research Collaboration

The FMU is collaborating research studies with University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) on amphibians and reptiles at the Mengiong – Gaat FMU.  Field studies will be carried out on threatened earless monitor lizard and other rare species of reptiles’ population dynamic in the FMU and also, to update its monitoring results in line with the requirement of MC&I SFM.