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Thursday , 30 October 2014
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Visitor No : 369123
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

CONSERVATION & ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

BIODIVERSITY AND PROTECTED AREAS

Danum Valley Conservation Area, a 438 sq km Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve is one of Sabah's last strongholds of lowland dipterocarp forest. It is home to over 200 tree species per hectare and is among the oldest and richest rainforests in the world.

With trees reaching over 60m tall, Danum Valley is a refuge to some of Sabah's most endangered wildlife such as Orang Utan, Sumatran Rhino, Proboscis Monkey and Borneo Pygmy Elephant, as well as over 300 species of birds.

Situated in the heart of Danum Valley and standing at 1,099m, Mt. Danum is the highest peak and it is surrounded by sub-montane forest.

The Danum Valley Field Centre is a world renowned facility for tropical rainforest research. A major collaborative programme with The Royal Society of United Kingdom and other joint initiatives have generated over 330 studies by local and foreign students.

Maliau Basin Conservation Area (MBCA) also known as Sabah's Lost World, is a 588.4 sq km Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve and one of Malaysia's finest wilderness areas with outstanding natural features such as the majestic 7-tiered Maliau Falls, magnificient Takob-Akob and Giluk Waterfalls and numerous smaller waterfalls. Situated in south central of Sabah, this virtually self-contained ecosystem is drained by the sole Maliau River, that flows out of a gorge in the south east of the Basin and forms one of the headwaters of the Kinabatangan, Sabah's most important waterway. Maliau's unusual forest types include rare montane heath forest and a distinct and diverse flora with over 1,800 species of plant identified to date. Along with the surrounding forests, it is home to rare mammals such as the banteng, clouded leopard and Malayan sunbear and more than 290 species of bird.

From 1999-2003, the Malaysian-Danish Government-to-Government cooperation, namely DANCED (Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development)/DANIDA (Danish International Development Assistance) successfully produced among others, a comprehensive management plan for Maliau Basin Conservation Area, established the Maliau Basin Studies Centre and conducted baseline and preliminary scientific research. Infrastructure development in MBCA was also made possible with funding from Shell and IKEA.

Silam Coast Conservation Area (SCCA) which is situated in Darvel Bay, Lahad Datu is one of the richest in marine biodiversity in this region. Several initiatives are being taken to transform this area into a marine and coastal forest research centre. Preliminary findings revealed that the flora and fauna in this area included 81 species of plants comprising coastal and inland vegetation. Among the wildlife species identified were birds (Great Slaty Woodpecker, Pacific Swallow) and mammals (Long-tailed Macaque, Barking Deer, Sambar Deer).

The area is also blessed with beautiful beaches with certain parts covered by mangrove trees. Surrounded by crystal clear water and coral reefs, SCCA is suitable for marine recreational activities as well as marine-based environmental education.

A grant from Shell enabled the construction of the Shell Tumunong Hallu Information Building, which serves as the gateway to the area.

Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA), situated north of Maliau Basin, in the centre of Sabah, is a 300 sq km area encompassing a sweeping 25 km long valley, probably the largest contiguous lowland dipterocarp forest left in Sabah, flanked by high sandstone ridges. Numerous scenic waterfalls are found in Imbak Canyon. The area is rich in flora and fauna species, including medicinal plants, which is an important botanical gene bank for forest rehabilitation. As a pristine area of forest, it also forms a vital component in the biodiversity corridor linking Maliau Basin to the south and Danum Valley to the east.

A scientific expedition organised by the Yayasan Sabah Group and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in 2010 yielded many remarkable new findings in terms of flora and fauna, as well as physical characteristics found to be conducive to the formation of spectacular and breathtaking waterfalls.

Through collaboration with PETRONAS, environmental education, community outreach, public awareness, research, capacity building activities, strategic management plan and ethno-forestry survey and documentation are being implemented. Preliminary works towards the construction of the Imbak Canyon Study Centre are also being conducted.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

The Group embarked on environmental education as far back as 1988 by establishing the Sabah Nature Club (SNC) with the cooperation from the Sabah Education Department in promoting environmental education and awareness among students. Apart from carrying out environmental education activities all over Sabah for its members, SNC also uses Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon conservation areas as venues for its environmental education programmes. SNC memberships are opened to students and teachers in primary and secondary schools as well as institutions of higher learning in Sabah. The club has more than 42,700 registered members.

HOSPITALITY AND RECREATION

Visitors to the conservation areas managed by the Group have the opportunity to experience the rainforest in its undisturbed state, with diverse and unique flora and fauna. Activities offered to visitors are jungle trekking and waterfalls viewing (which includes the majestic 7-tier Maliau Waterfall), listening to the distinctive “jungle symphony” at different times of the day, bird watching, sighting mammals or merely looking at the majestic huge trees.