PETALING JAYA: More than 40 local and international researchers are expected to join the Maliau Basin Scientific Expedition 2006 in Sabah from June 15 to 24.
They will document and study plant and animal species as well physical and landscape diversity and water and aquatic life of the Maliau Basin.
The expedition, jointly organised by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and the Sabah Foundation, will be conducted in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Sabah Parks.
It would be supported by Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), the academy said in a statement Monday.
The academy and Sabah Foundation on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding for the Rainforest Research, Scientific Expedition and Training Programme of which the expedition becomes part of the MoU.
The academy was represented by its Vice-President, Datuk Dr Salleh Mohamed Nor, and Sabah Foundation by its Director, Tan Sri Khalil Jamalul at the signing.
Among other things, the academy will also help and facilitate the establishment of research and commercialisation of the biodiversity and biotechnology of forest resources in the area.
Expedition head Prof Dr Ibrahim Komoo told reporters that the expedition was to enhance knowledge of the Maliau Basin, build the capacity and capability of local scientists to carry out expeditions in the tropical region and develop long-term research co-operation at both national and international levels.
He said the expedition would involve four scientific teams - Flora Biodiversity, Fauna Biodiversity, Physical and Landscape Diversity and Water and Aquatic Life.
The Maliau Basin is situated in the south central region of Sabah, covering an area of about 390 sq km.
Resembling a volcanic caldera, the 25km diameter basin is, in fact, a sendimentary formation comprising mainly gently inclined beds of sandstone and mudstone and is inaccessible due to its extremely rugged landscape rimmed by steep slopes and cliffs.