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Borneo Orang-utan Appeal: Fundraising for first land purchase completed

28 April, 2009 - 15:57 -- World Land Trust

Thanks to the generous contributions from both corporate supporters and individuals, the World Land Trust (WLT) has successfully raised the £343,000 that was required to secure a critical corridor of land between two fragmented portions of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Borneo.

Location of the Borneo project

Negotiations for this parcel of land have been complex but are reaching their completion and we will shortly be transferring the balance of the funds for the purchase of this land over to our project partner, LEAP Conservancy in Malaysia. This purchase will not only keep a hugely diverse rainforest standing but will also allow the continued survival of over 600 Orang-utans as well as other endangered wildlife such as the endemic Proboscis Monkey and a significant population of the Bornean Pygmy Elephant. Our sincere thanks go out to all of you who helped raise funds for this important appeal, in particular the Marshalls Group of Cambridge who helped raise over £120,000 through their Cambridge Rainforest Appeal. But our work doesn't stop here: WLT plans to carry on fundraising in order to keep more of Borneo's forests standing and to ensure the protection of Orang-utans and other threatened wildlife into the future. Keep checking the WLT website over the next few months for updates on new land purchases in the Lower Kinabatangan area. In the meantime you can support our new appeal on our Justgiving page with all donations going towards this new land purchase in the Kinabatangan.


Submitted by Rob on


I’m a british student currently volunteering in the Kinabatangan and I think its great what you’re doing. I’m just curious as to the location of the newly created corridor and which forest fragments it connects.
Keep up the good work


Submitted by Mary (WLT) on

Dear Rob,

The land that WLT helped to secure is located between Lots 3 and 5 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS). Lot 3 abuts the Kinabatangan River and is directly opposite Lot 5. Bornean Elephants frequently use this crossing point to move between the protected areas and vitally, the protection of this land has increased the amount of forest permanently available to animals along the Southern bank of the Kinabatangan. As you may know, fruiting trees are more abundant along riverbanks meaning that the protection of this land has also secured important feeding grounds for Orang-utans, Proboscis Monkeys, hornbills and other frugivores (fruit eaters) in the LKWS.

Best of luck with the volunteering and please pass on WLT’s best wishes to HUTAN if you are involved with them out there.
Mary Tibbett
(Conservation Programmes Officer, Asia Region).

Submitted by Gail on

I presently know nothing of Borneo but my husband is interested in combining a holiday with seeing the Orangutans. Which would be the best sanctuary to combine with a beach based holiday? I am also confused as to whether I should be looking at Borneo or Malaysia. Any info you can give to point me in the right direction would be appriciated.

Submitted by Kirsty (WLT) on

Dear Gail,
Thanks for your query. To answer the question of ‘Borneo or Malaysia?’ first of all, Malaysia is split into 2 parts: Peninsular (or West) Malaysia, where its capital Kuala Lumpur is located; and East Malaysia, which is located in the north of the Island of Borneo. Borneo is made up by 3 different countries – Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. (see map at the top of the article).

If you’d like to see Orangutans during your holiday, you will need to visit Borneo. (Unfortunately, I can only give recommendations about Malaysian Borneo, as I am not familiar with tourism destinations in Indonesian Borneo). If you want to combine both Orangutnas and a beach holiday, I would suggest basing yourself in Sandakan (in the state of Sabah – again see map above) as you will be able to visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. Please note that this is a sancuary for rescued Orangutans, so you would not be seeing them ‘in the wild’ but at least you would be guaranteed to see them. Sandakan is also the nearest town to the Lower Kinabatanagan Wildlife Sanctuary, where WLT is currently working, which is possible to visit, but there is no guarantee of which animals you would see whilst there – this is usually down to luck and a good guide!

You can also arrange trips from Sandakan to places like the Turtle Islands National Park, and if you are interested, there are some fantastic scuba-diving locations off the coast of Sabah. Sabah is a really wonderful place to visit, and I would recommed you looking at the Sabah Tourism site for more information:

I hope this information has been useful & hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Kind regards,
Kirsty Burgess
Conservation Programmes Manager, WLT

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