The Kinabatangan Corridor Research Project: Designing living landscapes for conservation in Sabah, Borneo

Project Description

The aim of this project has been to undertake a comprehensive landscape-level assessment, using a systematic conservation planning approach (i.e. a target-driven framework that includes conservation assessments with stakeholder input and implementation analysis). This approach aims to identify areas that: (i) provide important habitat and forest connectivity for endangered species; (ii) contain important vegetation types; (iii) are important for ecosystem processes; and, (iv) will be adopted by landowners through financial incentives. This project has investigated implementation strategies such as carbon payments and sustainable oil palm certification, to produce a viable Kinabatangan conservation corridor plan. The plan will be designed to inform decision-making for land-use planners and conservation managers in the region.

Related publications

Synergies for improving oil palm production and forest conservation in floodplain landscapes.

Identifying where REDD+ financially out-competes oil palm in floodplain landscapes using a fine-scale approach.


The collaboration with the NGO HUTAN goes back before DGFC was established. HUTAN has been running the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (KOCP) since 1996. Their intensive study site is located in Lot 2 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. KOCP’s site is a 4 km2 forest area in which in which KOCP research assistants conduct behavioural observations on habituated orang-utans.

HUTAN and Benoît Goossens started their collaboration back in 1999 and this has continued between HUTAN and DGFC until today.