NGOs call for alternative routes for Bornean road to avoid wildlife habitat

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Coalition Humans Habitats Highways has urged authorities in the Malaysian state of Sabah to adopt alternative routes to a 13-kilometer (8-mile) stretch of the Pan Borneo Highway. That particular stretch cuts through a protected forest reserve and overlaps extensively with heavily used elephant migration paths. Experts say constructing the highway as currently planned would increase wildlife-vehicle collisions, including deadly accidents involving elephants, as well as human-elephant conflict. It would also derail progress made by local community efforts encouraging humans and elephants to coexist in harmony. Malaysian scientists and activists have called on road planners in the Bornean state of Sabah to reconsider a 13-kilometer (8-mile) stretch of the Pan Borneo Highway that will cut through a protected forest reserve with a dense concentration of elephants when built. The current planned route runs through the Tawai Forest Reserve, a Class I protection forest in central Sabah that’s home to orangutans, clouded leopards, Bornean pygmy elephants and other endangered species. It also passes through 30 km (19 mi) of elephant range while overlapping extensively with heavily used elephant migration paths within the reserve. In its June 16 statement, Coalition Humans Habitats Highways (Coalition 3H) urged the Sabah government to adopt one […]

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