World Land Trust Celebrates Coral-Triangle Victory in Borneo
International conservation charity, the World Land Trust (WLT) is celebrating the outstanding achievement of its Malaysian partner, LEAP, for its part in successfully opposing the government’s plans to build a coal-fired power plant in the pristine rainforests of Sabah, NE Borneo, on the edge of one of the most biologically-diverse coral reefs on the planet.
John Burton, CEO of the World Land Trust congratulated the Malaysian government on making the decision to create a more sustainable and healthy economy for Sabah: ‘It is good that they listened to public opinion, and show a genuine commitment to the environment’.
World Land Trust’s partner, LEAP (Land Empowerment Animals People), are part of the Green SURF coalition that led the way in the battle to oppose the construction plans of a 300MW coal-fired power plant. Such plans would have had devastating effects on the environment in Sabah. The rainforest in Borneo is home to some of the world’s most endangered species including the Bornean Orang-utan, the Sumatran Rhino and the Pygmy Elephant.
As well as threatening life on land, the proposed site for the plant was on the edge of a reef known as the Coral Triangle. The region contains three-quarters of the world’s coral species and is one of the richest places on earth for marine biodiversity. Had plans gone ahead, the ecological balance of the reef would have been irreversibly damaged by the chemical waste from the plant.
It originally appeared that the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was going to do a dramatic U-turn on the country’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020. This would have been near-impossible if plans for the plant were approved. It is very reassuring to see the Prime Minister staying true to the promises he made in Copenhagen in 2009. This successful outcome has been reported in the world-wide media and will bring Malaysia due praise and set an example for the international community, at the upcoming UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, later on this year.
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Full Press release: http://www.worldlandtrust.org/documents/coral-triangle-victory-pr.pdf (28KB) (opens in new window)