High Conservation Values in Northern Gunung Rara Sustainable Forest Management Project


High Conservation Value (HCV) assessment for Northern Gunung Rara Sustainable Forest Management project area was carried out through field assessment in March 2015 and also attaining secondary data from management team and previous HCV report by Wong et al 2010. The main objective of this assessment is to enhance relevant information on the HCV elements within the NGR project area. The assessment was carried out by a multidisciplinary team with experienced assessors from various fields. Generally, all HCV elements are found to be present were elaborated for NGR project area. Appropriate management and monitoring actions have been recommended and discussed with the management team for further actions to be undertaken.

One of the major recommendations is to enhance forest resource condition and tree diversity through various activities, design specificaly for conservation purposes, especially on forest restoration and the silvicultural treatment on schedule blocks which were highlighted in the Annual Work Plan and Forest Management Plan. Through the analysis of the many species recorded, about 4 % of the flora are threatened and 22 % are endemic to Borneo. Unfortunately, 85% of the species have yet to be assigned IUCN status and not much research work has been conducted within the flora group. It is essential that the entire protected areas are set for conservation zone and categorised most of these zones as HCV 1 and HCV 3 that aim to preserve the species diversity and also taking into account of species that are unique to particular forest types, and also significant forest ecosystems. It is recommended that further studies should be done in understanding and documenting the rich flora and fauna diversity within NGR project area.

On a landscape level (HCV 2), NGR project area forms a critical link that connects the three larger undisturbed natural forest of protected areas, namely Danum, Imbak Canyon and Maliau Basin forest reserves to support greater landscape connectivity of lowland areas Retaining the whole FMU under conservation and natural forest management functional zones is the best effort in maintaining the forest ecosystem function as forest corridor for plant dispersal and also acts as a transient wildlife migratory path between the different forest reserves it borders.

Most of southern border of NGR project area is bordering oil palm estate. Furthermore, secondary vegetation dominates most of the peripheral area of the reserves that mostly susceptible to fire in comparison to pristine forest. A 50 m band of moderate to high forest structure inside the project area that border local communities land and oil palm estate are categorised as HCV 4.3.

Though there is no community basic needs identified in the project area, the edible nest collection at VJR Batu Timbang is carried out by nine teriti's or heirs from Kg Kuamut and they have obtained the collection permits from Sabah Wildlife Department. The continuous survival of the swiftlet that produce edible nests is highly dependent of the quality of food that are found outside of the limestone caves. The protection and preservation of mixed dipterocarp forest and limestone vegetation that is indicated as HCV 6 is crucial in order to support the cultural value of some Kg Kuamut villager.

Five (5) major conservation attributes were identified that characterized the Northern Gunung Rara Sustainable Forest Management Project (NGR SFM) namely as follows:

  1. HCV 1 (Biodiversity Values)
    i) HCV 1.1 (Protected Areas)
    ii) HCV 1.2 (Threatened and Endangered Species)
    iii) HCV 1.3 (Endemic Speceis)
    iv) HCV 1.4 (Critical Temporal Use)

  2. HCV 2 (Landscape Level Forest)

  3. HCV 3 (Forest Areas that are in or Contain Rare, Threatened or Endangered Ecosystems)

  4. HCV 4 (Services to Nature)
    i) HCV 4.3 (Forest Providing Barriers to Destructive Fire)

  5. HCV 6 Cultural Identity of Local Communities

Analysis Reports On The Effectiveness of HCV Monitoring in Northern Gunung Rara SFM Project:

NGR SFM Project
Map shows the HCV of Northern Gunung Rara SFM Project