Saturday, March 14, 2015

WWF-Malaysia honoured to co-host Eco Challenge in July

MIRI: WWF-Malaysia is honoured to partner the state government, Curtin University Sarawak and Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi (Formadat) in co-hosting ‘The Heart of Borneo Highlands Eco Challenge’ in July.

Its head of Conservation, Dr Henry Chan is confident that such ecotourism activities implemented in a responsible manner, driven by the community themselves, and with a focus on nature, would empower the people to generate livelihood activities that strongly feature conservation.

Besides, he said, responsible ecotourism would allow people to know the various types of plants, their names and uses. Scientists call this Ethnobotany.

“The slow walk, observing the bounty of nature in the forests, and camping together for a few nights, serve to foster close relationship between the visitors and the Lun Bawang and Kelabit people who are famous for their hospitality.

“The visitors would develop a deep sense of appreciation towards nature, and respect for the local community who have introduced them to this new spectrum of viewing the world,” he said.

Chan said this at the joint Eco Challenge pre-recce press conference held at Curtin Sarawak yesterday, together with the event director John Tarawe and Curtin Sarawak Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Jim Mienczakowski.

The inaugural eco challenge will run from July 25 to 30 at Ba Kelalan and Bario.

Chan added that the 6-day trek, from Ba Kelalan to Bario through pristine forest, scenic mountains, rivers and villages was not only important to the people living there but also vital to the Heart of Borneo Initiative.

He said that Heart of Borneo Initiative was a joint effort of the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei to manage 22 million hectares of land and forest in central Borneo.