Sunday, January 30, 2011

World Heritage Site for Maliau Basin boost

MALIAU BASIN (Tawau): The Federal Government will support the efforts of the State Government to enlist Maliau Basin as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said: “We can support and make the presentation to UNESCO as we have a UNESCO office and members of the board of directors of the UNESCO. So we will try to present this case because the moment you are listed as the world heritage by UNESCO there is an immediate jump in terms of worldwide interest.”

Najib told reporters after launching the Maliau Basin Studies Centre (MBSC) and Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) here yesterday.

For example, he said George Town, Malaka, Mulu Cave and few others had really benefitted from being listed as a world heritage by UNESCO.

“So I would support what the Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman) said. There is a process as it cannot happen overnight. Hopefully we can list this as part of the world heritage,” he said.

Earlier, in his speech, Musa hoped that Maliau Basin will become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the near future.

When asked to elaborate further on the statement he made in his speech earlier on the ecological experimental project carried out by Sime Darby Foundation (YSD) and Royal Society’s South East Asian Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) called Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystem (SAFE).

He said the critics especially the west have to understand that Malaysia needs to use land for development whether for industrialization, urbanization or plantation, because we need to create opportunity to support the people.

“Besides that, there are areas whereby no development activities are allowed such as Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, water catchment and forest reserve areas, these areas will be protected,” he said.

“If you look at the overall track record in Malaysia we are better than the developed countries, who created more sin than us and now they are pointing fingers at us. They made the mistake earlier than us and in fact we have a balanced policy where we can look after the interest of the people and forest for the interest of the world and future generation,” said Najib adding that Malaysia is committed to the Rio Earth Summit agreement as 60 per cent of the country are now covered with forest.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: World Heritage Site for Maliau Basin boost

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