Belanum – wildlife sanctuary in Bakun

Belanum Native Reserve (BeNaR) will be the first ever indigenous community conserved area (ICCA) or indigenous protection area (IPA) established in the area impacted by Bakun Dam. It is an initiative by the people of Uma Belor on their ancestral land in the catchment of Belanum river, and mentored by ecologists Khoo M.S and Dr. Fam S.D..

The establishment of BeNaR will provide a sanctuary for wildlife affected by Bakun Dam. It shall also be the foundation of eco-tourism activities in the future, as part of efforts to improve livelihood of the Uma Belor community.

We welcome all to join us on our bimonthly trip to help survey for the landscape and wildlife, or to help restore damaged habitats, while enjoying the tranquillity of living off-the-grid by the water of Bakun reservoir (on an island in Mebong Cove, or simply camp out in the forest by the Belanum River).

Chat with us if you are interested – next confirmed trips will be end December 2019, early February 2020, early April 2020, early June 2020, and early August 2020.

Visit us today and support our initiative to set up Belanum Nature Reserve, the first wildlife sanctuary in Bakun.

Floating houses (or jelatong) in Belanum Bay: the very first eco-tourism setup by Mr. Luhat Tugau and members of Uma Belor. Photo: Khoo M.S.
Visitors to Belanum nowadays mostly stay in the nearby Mebong Cove Villa, also part of the Uma Belor Homestay program. Photo: Khoo M.S.
Mapping of the lower Belanum catchment: to better understand latest forest cover and topography in order to devise best conservation plan. Produced by Khoo M.S.
Erosion caused by logging activity almost 20 years ago is still affecting the river. Good news is the remaining vegetation in the catchment is dense and diverse, with many trees capable of reproducing and regenerating the forest. Photo: Khoo M.S.
Hope for future: flowers of a Dipterocarp survived from logging. With the seeds of these native trees we hope to rehabilitate the catchment. Photo: Khoo M.S.
wildlife sanctuary in Bakun
Where Belanum flows into Bakun, used to be an inaccessible waterfall nestled in remote sandstone ridges. Photo: Khoo M.S.
Mr. Luhat sampling for fishes using cast net. Video: Khoo M.S.
Monitoring work is now underway to document for avian and mammalian wildlife living in the Belanum catchment. Photo: Khoo M.S.
wildlife sanctuary in Bakun
Surviving mammals of Belanum: Munjacts or barking deers. Photos: Khoo M.S.
wildlife sanctuary in Bakun
Surviving mammals of Belanum: Bornean bearded pigs. Photos: Khoo M.S.
wildlife sanctuary in Bakun
Surviving birds of Belanum: Great argus and black hornbill. Photos: Khoo M.S.