Conserving the forest of Sabah is one of the major conservation works which the government currently focusing on. Our forest is home to many endangered mammals, such as the Bornean Orang-utan, Borneo Pygmy Elephants as well as Sumatran Rhinoceros. It acts as a habitat for biodiversity and livelihood for humans.

Main conservation areas in Sabah are :

  1. Danum Valley which is located in Lahad Datu. In May 1995, the area was declared a Class I (protection) Forest Reserve by the Sabah Legislative Assembly, meaning that it cannot be logged except by decisions of a two thirds majority vote by the Sabah Legislative Assembly. In 1999, Danum Valley Conservation Area was further gazetted under The Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment 1998, as a Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Area. (Source www.danumvalley.info/)
  2. Maliau Basin In 1997, Sabah state Legislative Assembly designated Maliau Basin Conservation Area as a Class 1 (protection) forest Reserve and extended it to its present size of 588.4 km by incorporating forested land to the esdt and north of the Basin. The management committee, which was gazette pertaining to this is the forest (maliau Basin conservation Area) Rules, 1998. (Source : www.maliaubasin.info/)
  3. Imbak Canyon The Canyon is a part of the one million hectare Yayasan Sabah Forest Management Area. In 2003, Yayasan Sabah voluntarily designated Imbak Canyon as a Conservation Area for the purposes of research, education and training, similar to Maliau Basin and Danum Valley Conservation Areas. (Source : www.borneoforestheritage.org.my).

Recently a significant achievement on the conservation works is the recent reclassification about 180,000 hectares land which comprises about 54,000 hectares of wildlife corridor linking Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon to Danum Valley and Ulu Segama also 130,000 hectares of the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve as Class 1 Forest Reserve (refer map, dark green in colour). The new protected forests will help conserve precious biodiversity and the habitats of the endangered species as orangutans, pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinos.


As of now, about 1.3million hectare or about 20 percent of the state total land area has been gazetted as Total Protected Area (Class I Forest Reserves, State Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Virgin Jungle Reserves) (refer map above).  This is an achievement that even exceeds the standard set by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which is 10 percent.  Also these protected areas are further complemented with key conservation initiatives like the Ulu Segama-Malua involving about 240,000 hectares of forest reserve for orang utan conservation and the Ulu Kinabatangan Corridor of Life which makes up of about 150,000 hectares of wildlife rich ecosystem.


Heart of Borneo


Map above shows the  Scope of Heart of Borneo. The Heart of Borneo is a 3 country (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei), 1 vision initiative. It is aimed to conserve and efficiently manage the inter-connected ecological richness of these 3 countries, which covers about 22 million hectares. The government through Forestry Department is fully committed in this initiative and has allocated about 4 million hectares of Sabah’s landmass which comprises of important inland and highland forest ecosystems, as part of this initiative.

Sabah is also known for these parks :

  1. Kinabalu Park – It is Malaysia’s first world heritage, designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its ‘oustanding values’ and role as one of the world’s most important biological sites. Mt. Kinabalu, the majestic summit of Borneo is the focal point of the Park and the whole of Sabah is located in Kinabalu Park. Kinabalu Park is Borneo’s botanical paradise. It is home to about1,200 species of orchids, 26 species of rhododendrons, 9 species of Nepenthes pitcher plants, over 80 species of fig trees, over 60 species of oaks and chestnut trees, 100 species of mammals, 326 species of birds and the list goes on.
2. Crocker Range Park – The Crocker Range was designated to be a forest reserve in 1968. In 1984, Crocker Range Nature Park was then established in order to protect the water catchments area which was supplying clean drinking water to the West Coast and the interior of Sabah. It was renamed Taman Banjaran Crocker (Crocker Range Park) in 1996 and is managed by the Sabah Parks. It is an IBA – Important Birding Area with almost 265 bird species were found in this park.


Did You Know

World’s Tallest Tropical Tree

The tallest documented tropical angiosperm is a 88.32 m tall Shorea faguetiana in the Tawau Hills National Park, in Sabah. It is almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty (93m)

Featured Sabah Borneo