Sir David has stopped homes of elephants from being destroyed
The legendary television presenter’s pleas to prevent a road being driven through the Bornean rainforest that has created a special place close to his heart have saved the precious wilderness.
Building a road bridge across the Kinabatangan River and Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysian Borneo would have isolated the small groups of orangutan and elephant that survive in the remote forests.
Other wildlife would have also suffered during the heavy construction work, leading Sir David to make a heartfelt plea to the chief minister of the Malaysian state of Sabah, warning of the “significant negative effects” the road bridge would have on wildlife.
It has now been announced that Sir David’s letter, written in his capacity as a patron of the World Land Trust (WLT,) and campaigning by fellow conservationists have won the day.
Sabah officials say the presenter’s pleas for wildlife had been heeded by the authorities, and the bridge project has been abandoned.
In his letter to the Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, asking him to reconsider the plans for the bridge, Sir David explained how he had visited the Lower Kinabatangan on numerous occasions during his long career in broadcasting and conservation.
He said: “I have had many encounters with the magnificent and unique species with which your state is blessed – encounters which will stay with me forever.
It will also stop homes for orangutans from being destroyed by bulldozers
I am immensely pleased to hear that plans to build a bridge over the Kinabatangan River at Sukau have been cancelled
“I recently learned there are plans to construct a new road bridge at the village of Sukau in Sabah’s Lower Kinabatangan region, an area with which I am very familiar.
“If this construction is allowed to go ahead, I am left in no doubt that the bridge will have significant negative effects on the region’s wildlife, Kinabatangan’s thriving tourism industry and on the image of Sabah as a whole.
“I strongly believe that Borneo is one of the most unique and biodiverse places on this planet and that the world’s remaining wild spaces provide more than ecological services and opportunities for economic development; they also provide deep spiritual nourishment for ourselves and future Sabahans and visitors alike.”
The conservation victory was announced this week during a reception at the Royal Society in London.
The television presenter’s pleas to prevent a road being driven through the Bornean rainforest
Sir David today applauded the decision, saying: “I am immensely pleased to hear that plans to build a bridge over the Kinabatangan River at Sukau have been cancelled.
“This region is recognised worldwide as being a vital enclave for threatened wildlife and it is indeed good news that…