Discover what inspires Berjaya Elahan’s passion to protect Borneo’s wildlife and environment as a reserve ranger, funded by the World Land Trust’s Keepers of the Wild appeal
Working alongside Borneo’s iconic species, such as the Orang-utan and the Bornean or Pygmy Elephant, is just part of the job for reserve ranger Berjaya Elahan. Surrounded by some of the most spectacular wildlife in the world, Berjaya knows how lucky he is.
“Being a reserve ranger has changed my life”, he said. “I have learnt to better appreciate the Earth’s environment and wildlife. As a ranger I am now able to share my passion for conservation, especially in protecting wildlife and nature.”
Berjaya is being funded through the Keepers of the Wild appeal by the World Land Trust (WLT). The appeal is putting more rangers in the field to protect some of the most threatened habitat and wildlife on Earth. Living locally in the village of Sukau, alongside the Kinabatangan River, ranger Berjaya works for WLT partner HUTAN. Although Berjaya is passionate about his job, it is far from easy; he is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week in case there are any reports of poaching or illegal felling of trees within the protected area. He would like to see more rangers employed to help with this work, as well as more training to continue improving the rangers’ conservation knowledge. Berjaya believes that other conservation NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations) can learn from HUTAN’s effective model; he says that HUTAN’s collaboration with government agencies, such as the Sabah Wildlife Department, and local people is crucial to their success.
“It works well because it is grassroots based,” said Berjaya. “I hope that this model can be used for protecting other places from poachers and illegal logging, as our forest and wildlife is getting less and less over time.”
A father of two, Berjaya worries about the future of the world’s wild spaces. He said:
“It is important to leave a legacy for the children; future generations should inherit the richness of wildlife and wonders of nature that we are lucky to see today.”
As with all our Keepers of the Wild, Berjaya will post regular updates on our website about his work protecting the forests of Borneo and its wildlife.
WLT's work in Borneo
Working in the Malaysian state of Sabah in north-east Borneo, WLT is helping to protect forest that is being destroyed by oil palm plantations. We are supporting two partner organisations, HUTAN and LEAP Spiral, who are working to safeguard the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain – a priority stronghold for Orang-utan populations. Find out more about WLT's work in Borneo »