The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trekkers Lodge Sdn Bhd for turtle conservation on Libaran Island.
Both parties are collaborating on establishing a Turtle Conservation Programme on the island which includes, creating awareness programme for the locals and visitors on the conservation value of sea turtles, undertaking research projects to better understand the life cycle of sea turtles of Libaran island area and to create research programmes on the animal for local and international students.
Through the MoU, SWD will offer expertise, advice, training and monitoring assistance at the turtle hatchery and in situ operations to Trekkers Lodge Sdn Bhd in areas related to the collaboration.
The Department will also train Trekkers Lodge staff members Sdn Bhd to become honorary wildlife wardens who can then exercise enforcement with regards to the protection of the species.
The Department and the company were represented by SWD Director, Dr Laurentius Ambu and Trekkers Lodge Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Alexander Yee, at Rumah Terbalik respectively which is also operated by the latter, in Tamparuli recently.
Dr Ambu in his speech commented that there is a dire need to carry out turtle conservation in the state and he welcomed the initiative taken by Yee, describing it as another good example of the state collaborating with dynamic private enterprises and local community to protect the natural resources and environment.
“The department is always ready and supports the efforts of cooperation in managing and carrying out wildlife conservation activities in Sabah. I am confident that this collaboration with a private enterprise and the local community in carrying out conservation works will lead to a success,” added Dr Ambu.
Libaran Island lies at the Northeast coast of Sabah, about 40 minutes boat ride from Sandakan and five minutes away from Selingan Island and one of the main islands of Turtle Islands Park which support about 450 inhabitants whose main livelihood being fishing.
Besides safeguarding the turtles and their eggs, the collaboration will also allow the inhabitants to benefit from the conservation-based activities.
Eleven staff members of the Trekkers Lodge, Libaran Division, who were the inhabitants of the island including Yee and Libaran Village Chief, Sarief Nasidip Uyung, were inducted to be Honorary Wildlife Warden during the MoU signing ceremony, after undergoing a one-week training course in February 2012, conducted by the Sabah Wildlife Department.
Source: New Sabah Times