Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maliau Basin to get more protection

KOTA KINABALU: The state Forestry Department plans to expand the protective zone surrounding the Maliau Basin.

Department director Datuk Sam Mannan said under the plan, more forested areas around the 588 sq km basin, about twice the size of Penang island, would be protected in perpetuity.

“We plan to enlarge the protective buffer around Maliau Basin even further, locking up more forests from future harvesting forever,” Mannan said here yesterday.

The plan, he said, would be done by gazetting more Protection Forests (Class I) surrounding the basin.

“The concern shown by the Prime Minister during his last visit here has had a contagion effect on us,” he added.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had expressed deep interest in Maliau Basin during his visit to the conservation area on Jan 28.

Mannan said Najib had shown much interest in the area, particularly the naturally rusty coloured Maliau River, the tallest tropical tree in the world – the 88m Yellow Seraya of Tawau Hills Park – and even its frog species.

Mannan said the department was able to embark on a massive sustainable forest management programme as it received full support from the state government.

The conservation momentum, he said, started with the gazetting of the pristine Danum Valley (43,800ha) as a Protection Forest Reserve (Class I) in 1995, followed by Maliau Basin.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Maliau Basin to get more protection

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