Saturday, January 09, 2010

Cool green world of Lambir

By Catharine Goh

Located 50km southwest of Miri City, Lambir Hills National Park is known for its complex and diverse forest eco-system.

In a total area of just 6,952 hectares, experts have found what appears to be the greatest level of plant biodiversity on the planet.

A haven for researchers and eco-tourists, it is not only plant life that is diverse and plentiful at Lambir.

With 237 different species of birds, at the last count, as well as flying squirrels, wild pigs, gibbons, many different types of monkey, various species of deer, and untold insects and other invertebrates - these all combined to create Lambir's rich biological kaleidoscope.

About 30 minutes drive from the resort city, its irregular sandstone escarpments appear like rugged vertebrae when glimpsed from Miri's viewpoints on clear days.

The park is easily accessible by car and bus and trekking the rainforest-cloaked ridges beneath this backbone gives you an opportunity to experience mixed dipterocarp rainforest in its enormity, variety and primordial beauty.

It also has a number of picturesque clear creeks and waterfalls, in which hot trekkers can cool off.

However, Sarawak Planning and Resource Ministry's acting permanent secretary Datu Len Talif Salleh said personal philanthropy and volunteerism are vital in securing the future of the state's national parks.

"Sarawak is in need of outstanding volunteers to assist in co-managing our national parks and enhance on our current initiatives such as Honourary Wildlife Ranger, Special Park Committee and various education and awareness programmes for the public," he noted.

He said generating awareness and deep appreciation required tremendous efforts from stakeholders.

"Most importantly, it will help us to combat any infringements towards our efforts in conservation and protection of biodiversity wealth," added Len Talif, who is also Sarawak Forestry managing director and chief executive officer.

Recently the Sarawak Forestry Corporation officers detained four men, including three locals, for alleged illegal poaching and hunting at Lambir Hills National Park. All four suspects were handed over to the police in Miri for further investigations.

Commenting on the incident, Len Talif it was an egregious case of illegal hunting that had been uncovered by his men in the national park as wildlife in this Totally Protected Area was as important as the area itself.

"This is a serious offence and we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute anybody found to be partaking in this sort of activity," he said.

"We will not tolerate illegal hunting in Lambir Hills National Park or any other protected areas for that matter," he reiterated.

He added that the investigation uncovered a complex and concerted efforts in hunting illegally within the National Park.

Items such as a home-made shotgun and three parangs were also found in the suspects' possession.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend

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