DIRECTOR'S NOTE

We are privileged to be an integral part of one of the world’s richest biodiversity here in Borneo. Biodiversity provides us with resources for our existence such as food, medicine and the functioning of the ecosystem on which we are dependent where we simply cannot exist without and the critical component of the ecosystem services that are provided for free of charge.
As Bornean habitats rapidly becomes fragmented and isolated, the wildlife population dynamics will be altered where local densities will be reduced. The metapopulation becomes unstable through landscape modification and conversion that further reduces local and regional densities. This will result in specialized and less abundant species at risk of extinction. Species such as the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) has been long considered extinct in Sarawak and in recent years, Malaysia. Some of the mammalian species are unique to Borneo and at the same time are Endangered and seeks conservation attention. In particular, we refer to the Bornean water shrew (Chimarrogale phaeura), Bornean bay cat (Catopuma badia), Hose’s civet (Diplogale hosei), Bornean gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), Proboscis monkey (Narsalis larvatus) and Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). The other is the flat headed-cat (Prionailurus planiceps) and the clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi). In addition to this, Sarawak recognized as Bumi Kenyalang (Land of the Hornbills) is home for many Internationally Threatened Hornbill species. It would be a great shame if these species were to become locally extinct.
In the past the conservation strategies are based on what we knew before and decision are based on these facts. Many of these strategies appear not fully functioning now probably because we did not ask what we really should know in years to come for undeviating on-the-ground conservation actions. Therefore, research and conservation science should be focused, synergized and concerned with bringing innovative strategies to the attention of policymakers and the public as part an effort to prioritize the needs for environmentally informed decisions. With many advances and new developments in conservation science helps our ever- increasing knowledge and understanding of the natural environment. The research on wildlife ecology and conservation will offer new insights to guide future science and improve our efforts at conservation, especially in Sarawak. Learning from past histories and predicting future conservational needs will enhance the local knowledge on sustainable development to ensure policy makers are advised on the human cost of continued erosion of biodiversity.

Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Azlan Jayasilan bin Abdul Gulam Azad
Director
Institute Of Biodiversity And Environmental Conservation, UNIMAS
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