Thursday, February 12, 2009

Borneo's forest largely untouched

KOTA KINABALU: Borneo still enjoys a friendly and beautiful environment because of its large area of untouched forest, which is a contradiction to a claim by a foreign non-governmental organisation that almost all of its forest has been cleared.

Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said such claim was totally inaccurate because it was made by people who had not seen by themselves the real situation in Borneo.

He said this when met after clarifying the matter to Marta Szigeti Bonifert, the executive director of Regional Environment Centre (REC) based in Hungary, at the Luncheon Talk entitled “Transition to sustainability through cooperation” at Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa yesterday.

“I feel happy that today we have the opportunity to explain to Bonifert on claim that almost all forest in Borneo had been cleared or deforested. I had explained to her that in fact, 53 per cent of Sabah has been gazetted as forest reserve and wild parks for near extinct animals.

“The map on Borneo that she claimed to have received from an NGO showed almost all parts of Borneo had been cleared but I dare to say that 80 per cent of Kalimantan has not been explored, what more to say about clearing them for development,” Masidi said.

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