Target: Datuk Musa Haji Aman, Sabah Chief Minister
Goal: Stop a road project that will fragment the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and destroy orangutan habitat.
As an attempt to stimulate the local economy, the state government in Sabah, Malaysia wants to build a roadway that will cut directly through the Lower Kinabatangan Sanctuary. This will destroy countless acres of habitat already in constant danger by illegal logging and palm oil farmers. Due to this and the planned road, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature will be declaring Bornean orangutans as ‘critically endangered.’ It would seem that the promise of money holds more value than the lives of orangutans who number a meager 800 in the wild.
Not only does this construction violate the sanctuary, it also completely disregards the Sabah Elephant & Orangutan Action Plans. The plans state that Sabah should do whatever it can to preserve the habitats of these animals and prevent further fragmentation of those habitats. Roads and bridges are not exempt from the outlines of the action plan.
Paved roadways may stimulate local economy but there is no reason these roadways cannot be diverted around the reserve. This construction plan is a temporary fix for a long-term problem, and one that may not even deliver the desired results. The only certainty is that Sabah will further push their dwindling orangutan population to extinction.
Sign and tell Sabah’s Chief Minister to alter these construction plans or cancel them altogether. Economy can be stimulated in ways beyond quick road travel, but these orangutans cannot be resurrected once they become extinct.
Dear Chief Minister Aman,
Encouraging economy is a good thing but not in a way that further endangers an already struggling species. The road construction planned to cut through the Lower Kinabatangan Sanctuary is a danger to wildlife habitat. Already, only a meager 800 Bornean orangutans live in the wild. Destroying even more of their habitat already assaulted by illegal loggers and palm oil farmers would be monstrous. It also contradicts action plans put into place for Sabah to protect the habitats of orangutans and elephants. The plans should protect these habitats against the construction of roadways.
Please reconsider this course of action and divert the road project around the reserve or cancel construction entirely. Quick transport time isn’t worth losing precious wildlife.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: NGO Friends of the Orangutan