Sunday, May 13, 2012


KINABATANGAN : ‘A valuable piece of natural heritage’ – this epithet best describes the Imbak Canyon conservation area located in Ulu Kinabatangan, right in the heart of Sabah.

The 30,000-hectare virgin dipterocarp forest lies between two other conservation areas – the Danum Valley and the Maliau Basin.

One may wonder, however, whether the landscape here resembles the Grand Canyon in Arizona, United States. Not exactly, but the word ‘canyon’ in the name refers to the 750-metre deep and 3-kilometre wide ravine carved out of the rock cliffs by the Imbak River, which makes part of the landscape look like a canyon.

The Imbak Canyon is surrounded by sandstone cliffs reaching a height of 3,700 feet, and the numerous flora and fauna thriving in this rain forest represent a rich biodiversity.

The Imbak Canyon, located at a five-hour drive away from Kota Kinabalu, is managed by Yayasan Sabah (YS), which is involved in the conservation, research, training, education and nature recreation activities conducted there.

The Beauty Of The Canyon

The Imbak Canyon is a catchment area for two important rivers in the state – the Imbak and the Kinabatangan Rivers – which not only provide water but also serve as a mode of transport and livelihood source for those living in the area.

Nestled between the Maliau Basin and the Danum Valley, the Imbak Canyon is regarded as an important buffer zone for wildlife, according to Yayasan Sabah’s head of Conservation and Environmental Management Dr Waidi Sinun.

Three expeditions conducted in 2000, 2004 and 2010, respectively, explored the natural treasures of the area, identifying 312 plant species in the region, of which 32 were endemic to Borneo, including six species which are found only in Sabah.

With regard to the fauna, Dr Waidi remarked that more than 200 species of birds live in Imbak Canyon, five of which are endemic to Borneo and found only in the conservation area.

These expeditions have also recorded the presence of pygmy elephants, leopards, bears, mouse deer and the Sumatran rhinoceros in this region.

“The Class 1 Forest Reserve also boasts of a unique landscape, with the ravine – which appears like a canyon – being the most striking feature,” Dr Waidi told Bernama at the recent inaugural ceremony of the Ulu Kinabatangan Information Centre and Jetty project at Kampung Imbak.

The Imbak Canyon is also home to two panoramic waterfalls – the Imbak Waterfalls and the 8-tier Waterfall.

Conservation Efforts With Petronas

In its efforts to conserve Imbak Canyon, Yayasan Sabah has collaborated with the national petroleum giant Petronas to gather information about the area, undertake biodiversity conservation efforts, preserve the genetic pool and explore the pharmaceutical and biotechnological potential of the flora there.

“The Information Centre and Jetty project will open new economic opportunities for local communities to improve their livelihood without affecting the environment,” Dr Waidi explained.

The information centre will display informative posters on Ulu Kinabatangan and exhibit a 3D model of the canyon.

The information centre will also be of use to the Imbak Canyon Porter and Tourists Guide Association, and the locals would be able to sell their handicrafts at the centre.

Dr Waidi noted that the establishment of the information centre and the association for porters and guides was a step in the right direction towards involving the local communities in the conservation efforts. (Bernama)

Green Sabah says: Imbank Canyon is one of the areas along with Maliau Basin and Danum Valley where the government has roped off as forest reserves. The logging and mining activities are also stopped. Its a good job from the state government, the three areas of forestry reserve add up is the 3 times the size of Singapore.


Anonymous said...

Imbak Canyon is such a wonderful place that is located right in the heart of Sabh.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the efforts from the Sabah state government to create a forest reserve. Maliau-Danum-Imbak will be nominated to get a world heritage status.

Anonymous said...

To reach this achievement in forest conservation, Yayasan Sabah has collaborated with Petronas to make this happen. Congratulations to both of them.

Anonymous said...

Imbak Canyon adalah kawasan yang amat menarik dan cantik. ia amat menenangkan.

Anna said...

Great job to the Yayasan Sabah and Petronas on this project, hopefully the two organization will continue to work together on conserving Sabah's nature.

Anna said...

Imbak Canyon is possibly the best preserved forestry reserve in Sabah, its a good effort from those who participated in this project.

Khalid said...

Kerajaan kita amat berusaha menjaga khazanah alam seperti Imbak Canyon, Maliau basin dan juga Danum Valley.

cay said...

Imbak canyon khazanah alam semulajadi yang harus dijaga.

Jeff Ambuyat said...

the Imbak Canyon Conservation Area can contribute to the state’s economy through tourism because it can attract tourists with its largely unexplored forests..

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