KOTA KINABALU: Eco-tourism has changed the life of a small community that once depended on river fishing and small-scale agriculture to put food on the table.
Today, the Orang Sungai of Kampung Sukau are not only earning tourist dollars, they are also picking up English and learning management and people skills. They have come to appreciate nature and are contributing to the conservation of endangered animals such as the orang utans, proboscis monkeys and Borneo pygmy elephants that live in the nearby Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Their community-based outfit, Red Ape Encounters and Adventures Sdn Bhd (RAE), was set up in 2001 in a joint effort between the Sabah Wildlife Department and Hutan, a non-governmental organisation based in the village.
Nearly 750 visitors have come to the village in the last five years, enabling villagers to earn some RM665,000.
Continue reading (incl. pics) at: Eco-tourism spells prosperity for Sabah