Thursday, January 17, 2013

Resort conserving 100 acres as wildlife corridor

Proboscis monkey

KOTA KINABALU: A Kinabatangan resort yesterday pledged not to clear 100 acres of its land.

By doing so, Myne Resort hopes to create a wildlife corridor which will benefit wildlife such as the pygmy elephants, the orangutans, the proboscis monkeys and so on, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun after witnessing the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Borneo Conservation Trusts (BCT), Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and Myne Resort.

He lauded the effort and said the resort was fulfilling their corporate social responsibility (CSR) by doing so. Altogether, the resort has 200 acres of land at Kampung Bilit, Kinabatangan.

“This effort will benefit conservation efforts. It is also a new trend among resorts that promise long-term benefits and profits for them,” he said.

He went on to say that foreign tourists were no longer keen on just watching tall buildings and developments.

“They are here to experience something different. And the resort, though this MoU, promises to provide them with the experience to see wildlife when they stay at Myne Resort. I am glad this initiative is taking place. It is part of the component plan, at Kinabatangan, in the creation of the wildlife corridor which will be used as the pathway and habitat for elephants, orangutans and proboscis monkeys so that they will continue to thrive,” he said.

Nevertheless, Masidi also mentioned of the challenges faced in getting people to change their mindset on preserving wildlife and nature.

“Why don’t you think of utilising your land other than palm oil plantation? Why don’t you think of the possibility of conserving it, and build a resort like Myne (Resort) has done and make more money in the future which is sustainable? But unfortunately, not many people think there is a future. Probably they think they will die tomorrow, I don’t know. I think we need to convince them that it is for the good of themselves and Sabah. The lower Kinabatangan has the richest biodiversity in terms of wildlife,” he said.

Meanwhile, SWD director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu hoped that more private agencies such as plantations and landowners will step forward and work with them and BCT to secure and re-establish ecological corridor for the wildlife at Lower Kinabatangan.

“We believe that conservation works could only be effective if we can share the responsibilities,” he said.

The managing director of Myne Resort, Ouh Mee Lan, on the other hand said the resort was popular due to its vicinity within the forest.
Myne Resort presently has 16 chalets and a longhouse, and in the near future and possibly this year, it will construct 40 new chalets.
Most of its guests are Europeans.

Source: Borneo Post


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