The MESCOT initiative works in forest rehabilitation, ecotourism, and invasive species eradication to improve livelihood options for the community of Batu Puteh, in the Lower Kinabatangan region of Malaysia. This area has been documented on many occasions as a site of mega-biodiversity and stands out due to its high concentrations of lowland wildlife, particularly large mammals and primates – all ten species of Bornean primates are found in the area.

One of the key projects of MESCOT has been eradicating the invasive species Salvinia molesta. In 2001, floods introduced the species into Tungog Lake, used by the Batu Puteh community for fishing: within 16 months, the lake was completely covered. MESCOT mobilized a vast volunteer effort in 2005 to remove the weeds from the surface and bottom of this endangered freshwater habitat. Revenues from ecotourism have funded ongoing eradication efforts, in which regrowth is netted and used as an organic fertilizer in local farm plots.


Key Facts 

Equator Prize Winner: 2004

Founded: 1996

Location: Sabah state, Malaysia

Beneficiaries: Village of Batu Puteh, Kinabatangan

Biodiversity: Forest, floodplain, and acquatic ecosystems


Case Study

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Find other Winners' Case Studies in our E-Library

 Equator Prize 2004

Asia And The Pacific

 Biodiversity Conservation

 Sustainable Forestry


Contact Information

PPM 538 Elopura
Sandakan 9000
Tel: +60 89 551070 / +60 89 551064
Email: ; ;


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