MIRI: An exciting eco challenge dubbed ‘The Heart of Borneo Highlands Eco Challenge’, awaits nature and heritage lovers and adventure seekers this July.
The six-day (July 25 to 30) event will bring participants through intensive jungle-trekking across old world Bornean rainforest, remote yet scenic villages and historical sites of the people living in the Maligan and
Kelabit highlands between Ba Kelalan and Bario.
It is organised by Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi (Formadat), a trans-boundary, grassroots initiative that aims at increasing awareness and understanding of the highland communities in the Heart of Borneo (HoB).
Event director John Tarawe said the event was supported by the state Ministry of Tourism, Sarawak Tourism Board, Forest Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Sarawak Museum Department, and two universities – Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
Other supporters included Gantuman e-Bario, Tutum Bala e-Ba Kelalan, Planet Borneo Tour, Highland Paradise, WWF-Malaysia, Bario Slow Food and Cultural Festival (Pesta Nukenen dan Kebudayaan Kelabit), Rurum Kelabit Sarawak and Persatuan Lun Bawang Sarawak.
John said the Eco Challenge, the first of its kind to be held in the highlands, would start from Ba Kelalan before passing through Lepo Bunga, Mount Murud (Church Camp), Long Rebpun, Pa Lungan and finally ending in Bario to coincide with the first day of the 10th Bario Slow Food and Cultural Festival that would run from July 30 to Aug 1.
“The route, a migratory path since thousands of years ago by the highlanders re-lives history, culture and the stewardship of nature,” said John during the joint Eco Challenge pre-recce press conference held at Curtin Sarawak yesterday.
Curtin Sarawak Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Jim Mienczakowski and WWF-Malaysia head of Conservation Sarawak Dr Henry Chan also spoke at the press conference and among those present were Museum Department deputy curator Mohd Sherman Sauffi, Curtin Sarawak Research Institute acting director and Dean of R&D Professor Clem Kuek and a fellow of Curtin University Research Institute Dr Lisa Marie King.
John, who is also Formadat deputy chairman, added the eco challenge was an ecotourism adventure with a difference – true ecotourism event taking conservation of the highlands seriously.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Eco adventure in Heart of Borneo Highlands in July.