What has the summer expedition achieved so far?

18th August 2018

From rehabilitating tropical forest ecosystems to building the infrastructure for communities to access reliable water and safe sanitation. Our summer expedition is in full swing and sustainable change is being made to environments and communities across Sabah.

The impact of our completed projects

The Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre

Raleigh Borneo returned to the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) to continue helping with the long-term work to restore an area of illegally deforested palm oil land back into a healthy and diverse rainforest habitat. This expedition, volunteers planted 308 pioneer tree species within three key identified areas.

Ruth was one of the Volunteer Managers on the project. She explains, “We worked alongside the team at TRCRC. We helped with planting trees to rebuild the jungle canopy as well as helping in the nursery which included resurfacing the nursery floor, moving the saplings to the next area or stress testing trees to make sure they would survive.”

Ruth continues, “We were lucky enough to get to revisit one of the planting areas Raleigh volunteers worked in during 2016. We were able to work out why some trees survived while others didn’t, therefore what strategies we needed to use in the future to get the best results.”

“They were really positive about the work that Raleigh had done with them. You get the sense that there is a secondary rainforest being established which is really helping local areas. The work we have done all links in with TRCRC’s broader projects where they are building wildlife corridors in other areas to help sustain the fragile ecosystem.”

Kampung Tikalod

Following the installation of a rainwater catchment system, toilets and handwashing facilities in the small forest community of Kampung Tikalod last expedition, Raleigh Borneo returned with another project team to continue their collaboration with the community. To ensure the objectives of our Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme, the group set about building a dam and a ram pump to provide greater water security for the small village.

Jen was one of the Volunteer Managers for the Kampung Tikalod WASH project. She explains, “The community are in a much better position now. The village didn’t have a reliable water source. They purely relied on rainwater which is unreliable, especially in dry season. We installed a dam to stem the flow of water from two streams much lower than the village itself.”

Jen continues, “One of the successes of this project was getting the ram pump working.”

The impact of a reliable water supply and access to hygienic sanitation can be huge, especially in such a remote area that is many miles away from urban developments. The people of Kampung Tikalod still face many challenges, but the positive changes made over the past few weeks will hopefully empower them to take further ownership over their livelihoods.

Bengkoka Forest Reserve

The project in Bengkoka Forest Reserve successfully set up and reviewed six camera traps, surveyed 10 mist nests, conducted three amphibian night walks and planted 172 trees. Tom was one of the Volunteer Managers on this project. He explains, “Our project aim was to rehabilitate an area of the Bengkoka Forest Reserve by clearing 10 lines through the forest, each of them 3m wide and replanting the area with native trees. The reason for the biodiversity surveys was to help inform the correct level of environmental protection attributed to the area.”

Tom continues, “We surveyed over 140 birds consisting of 45 different species, some of which were rare and not usually found in the area. The camera trapping observed mammals including civets, barking deer, monkeys and some squirrels.”

“We managed to regenerate an area of the forest. It provides a model for Forestry Solutions to improve the habitat in which they work. It also helps to inform their future conservation efforts.”

Keep an eye on the blog for an update on our other projects in the coming weeks!


Words by Communications Officer Rebecca Raab.

Photographs by Photographer Daniel Buttifant, Photographer Hilary Sloane and Communications Officer Rebecca Raab.

Contact any of our volunteers by completing the linked contact form. We will pass your messages and words of encouragement on to the volunteers during our project loops. 

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