Sunday, January 30, 2011

Commitment in managing Maliau Basin

MALIAU BASIN: The Malaysian government is committed in managing Maliau Basin area for conservation, research, education and training, and appropriate recreation as well as nature tourism.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said Maliau is a gift to the world and future generation.

Even though it is also known as the Lost World, people must ensure that their activities do not lead its loss forever.

He said Maliau with an area of 58,840 hectares is fast gaining global recognition as one of the few remaining untouched wilderness on earth.

“A unique and self-contained ecosystem not found elsewhere, it is a Class I Protection Forest Reserve under the Sabah Forest Enactment, and is also a Cultural Heritage Site under the Sabah Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Maliau Basin Studies Centre by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here yesterday.

Musa, who is also the chairman of the Yayasan Sabah Board of Trustees, said Maliau is known for its spectacular waterfalls, the most famous being the magnificent seven-tiered Maliau Falls.

This conservation area is home to many outstanding natural features including the crater-like escarpment which encloses the Basin and the fabled Lake Linumunsut, the only ox-bow freshwater lake discovered so far in Sabah.

The Basin also serves as a crucial water catchment for the Maliau River, a major source of the Kinabatangan as well as its surrounding forested buffer zones are habitats to rare wildlife such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros, Banteng, Orang Utan, Borneo Pygmy Elephants and Clouded Leopards, just to name some.

Due to its isolation, he said Maliau Basin has not been explored in as much detail as some other forest, leaving an element of mystery.

However through three major expeditions and a joint project between Yayasan Sabah and Danish International Development Agency (Danida) project, diverse and distinct flora and fauna that added up to more than 240,000 were discovered.

Maliau is also gaining recognition for adventure enthusiasts with a range of activities including the half kilometre canopy bridge or the sky bridge as well as nature trails, night drives and bird watching.

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