Earth’s rainforest areas hold a very high biodiversity and are vital for a variety of animal species. But equally important is the whole world as it produces huge amounts of oxygen and also serves as the world’s largest pharmacy when many of the ingredients for today’s medicines collected from the rainforest. About 50% of the world’s plant and animal species live in the rainforest.
During the three days I spent in Danum Valley, I saw gibbons, lövapor, deer, flying squirrels, iguanas and, of course, macaques. Even the endangered orangutans, leopards and Asian pygmeelefanter staying in the area even if they are not visible to the same frequency.
By bus from Kota Kinabalu to the sleepy little town of Lahad Datu takes about 9 hours by bus and to my dismay, most of these travel through miles of palm oil plantations. Malaysia is one of the world’s largest palm oil exporters and there is the ever-shrinking rainforest that can accommodate this ever-growing export. Palm oil is found in everything from toothpaste and shampoo to cashews and can be designated as either palm oil or vegetable oil in the table of contents. It is important to opt out products that contain palm oil as it is we as consumers will determine how large the exports of palm oil will be and how much more rain that could be devastated. Danum Valley is a 438 km2 lowland rain forest area consisting of one of the last primary rainforest regions of one of the most complex ecosystems. Primary forest is particularly valuable because it has been left undisturbed and develop freely for hundreds of thousands of years and consists of a mix of olikåldrade trees in several layers, from low-growing trees to the giants of 45 meters, creating some of the most valuable areas as regards their Biodiversity. These forests are constantly under threat around the world because they are also a major source of income in the timber industry. 1976 suggested WWF Malaysia, the forest would be protected by being a national park, but Yasin Sabah Board of Trustees decided in 1980 instead that the area would continue to belong to Yasin Sabah but that it would remain intact in order to be preserved. Danum Valley is also a major research facility where scientists, biologists and students can do research and conduct their training in the middle of the rainforest.
Notes on a visit is to have respect for the rainforest and its inhabitants and not take unnecessary risks because Lahad Datu is located two hours by car from the area. In an accident it is the helicopter that apply. Bring rugged trousers, shirt, a pair of sturdy hiking boots, leech socks, mosquito spray, large amounts of water and keep an open mind for your future experiences in this majestic rain forest.

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