Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sabah Government's Role in Danum Valley Success

KOTA KINABALU: The achievements at Danum Valley are testimonies of the state government’s openness and commitment to promote research with the aim of making Sabah a centre of excellence in tropical biodiversity research.

This idea of becoming a centre of excellence was adopted as a key strategy in the Sabah Development Corridor.

And it supports the federal government’s vision to transform the country into a world centre of excellence in conservation, research and utilization of tropical biological diversity by 2020.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said this at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Royal Society and Danum Valley Management Committee on the rainforest research and training programme for the next five years at a resort here yesterday.

He said through the excellent collaboration between the Royal Society and the Danum Valley Management Committee, this field centre was now regarded as a leading and influential tropical rainforest research establishment in South East Asia.

The field centre in Danum also owes its success to the state Forestry Department, Yayasan Sabah, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

“Globally, it is one of the top three facilities of its kind after La Selva in Costa Rica and Baro Colorado Island in Panama,” he added.

However, the Chief Minister said the quest towards achieving excellence in tropical rainforest in Sabah was still far from complete.

“Compared to the Royal Society’s existence of more than three centuries, this is just the beginning,” he said.

Given the complexity of tropical rainforest and its status as one of the least understood of ecosystem, Musa said there was still a lot to be researched.

“We need long-term multidisciplinary research and we are aware that findings are crucial to ensure Danum’s sustainability in this fast changing world.

“And, there is also a need for continuity and enhancement of current programmes, with greater participation by both local and overseas research interest,” he said.

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