© APE Malaysia
Why restore the rainforests?
As a medical and healthcare communications agency, Bridges M&C recognises that encouraging biodiversity through reforestation can increase our chances of discovering new medicines, and preserve the lifeblood of medicinal botany. The pharmaceutical industry has recently recognised plants of tropical rainforests for their potential in drug development.
In fact, some 120 prescription drugs sold worldwide today to treat diabetes, heart conditions and infectious diseases are derived directly from plants found in the rainforests. According to the National Cancer Institute in the United States, more than two-thirds of all medicines that have been found to have cancer-fighting properties originate from rainforest plants (1).
Today, numerous drug companies work in tandem with conservationists, native groups, and government agencies to seek out and catalogue rainforest plants for their medicinal value and synthesise their bioactive compounds.
Sadly, the rapid rate of deforestation and subsequent eradication of species of flora, is outpacing the rate at which scientists can learn about the medicinal properties of plants. The island of Borneo alone recorded a forest loss of 1.9 million hectares from 2004 to 2017, and is one of the 24 territories identified as a deforestation hotspot by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Fortunately, concerted efforts are being carried out to rescue and preserve the Bornean rainforests by organisations such as Animal Projects & Environmental Education (APE) Malaysia, which has been actively involved in reforestation efforts along the Kinabatangan River in Sabah.
In just three years, APE’s Restore Our Amazing Rainforest (ROAR) initiative has successfully restored 16 hectares of rainforests, increased the sightings of various wildlife species and recorded up to 85% of the formation of junior canopies at the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary . This land is a vital part of the corridor that connects animal populations along the Kinabatangan River.
Bridges M&C is proud to support APE Malaysia’s reforestation efforts through its Bridges Plants Trees CSR campaign for 2022.
 Desai AG, Qazi GN, Ganju RK, El-Tamer M, Singh J, Saxena AK, Bedi YS, Taneja SC, Bhat HK. Medicinal plants and cancer chemoprevention. Current drug metabolism. 2008 Sep 1;9(7):581-91.
 Animal Projects & Environmental Education (APE). Habitat Restoration Sponsorship. 2022.