Friday, August 19, 2016

Sabah green conservation efforts and ecotourism goes global

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s remarkable success in green conservation efforts and ecotourism had put the state on the world map and continues to be a role model for developing countries in tropical biodiversity management “Sabah is well-positioned to lead conservation initiatives in the country given its growing reputation as an ecotourism destination and success in managing biodiversity,” said Prof Dr Charles S. Variappan, Director of the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

Contrary to claims of deforestation for oil palm, Prof Dr Charles highlighted that conservation efforts headed by the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) has expanded the number of forest reserves, wildlife corridors in the state for the last 5-10 years.

“Sabah is very unique in nature tourism and tropical biodiversity, which is why UMS is selected as the training institution for conservation,” he said during the press conference of the Third Country Training Programme (TCTCP) yesterday.

The programme, now in its 3rd cycle (2016-2018) is derived from the United Nations Triangular Cooperation Initiative with expertise provided by the government agencies such as the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Parks, as well as Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SABC).

A total of 20 participants from 11 countries which include national park officers and wardens, agriculturists, government officials and agriculturists will be joining the TCTP programme from Sept 8 until Sept 27 at various designated training venues at the west coast, including Penampang, Keningau, Beaufort and Klias.

“We are keen to share the knowledge, expertise and experience on integrated biodiversity and ecosystem conservation acquired through years of conservation efforts in the state, “said Prof Dr Charles, who noted participants will also get the opportunity to join field visits learn first-hand on biodiversity management and conservation initiatives in Sabah.

The participating countries in the 3rd TCTP programme include Malaysia, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, India, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Tanzania.