CM: Sarawak will balance urban growth and ecological conservation

Abang Johari (third right) lit the Piasau Nature Reserves landmark to mark the launching of the “Love Hornbill Day 2020”.

MIRI, Feb 15: Sarawak government will continue to emphasis sustainable urbanisation to reduce development impact on the natural habitat and native ecosystem.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state must create a balanced urbanisation growth and nature conservation in its development planning to ensure that wildlife and biodiversity can coexist with booming cities.

“Sarawak has uphold the policy of protecting its natural biodiversity, hence various nature parks within the urban areas have been identified and gazetted.

“We are lucky that we have urban forest in the centre of the city, such as Samajaya Nature Reserves (Kuching), Bukit Lima Nature Reserves (Sibu), Bukit Hitam and Bukit Sembiling Nature Reserves (both in Limbang) and now we have Piasau Nature Reserves in Miri,” he said at the “Love Hornbills Day 2020” at the nature reserves here today.

Abang Johari said a balanced urbanisation and nature conservation will help protect Sarawak’s rich and varied ecosystem, while reducing impact of man-made stresses on the flora and fauna in urban areas.

He added that urban forests are vital for environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. At the same time, the forests also serve to improve public healthcare system.

“Sarawak has its natural beauty, including numerous numbers of exotic birds such as the Hornbill and via this centre, it could attract more tourists or scientists coming here to do research or bird watching activities,” he said.

Abang Johari (inside excavator) performing the earth breaking ceremony for the Piasau Nature Discovery Centre.

At the event, he announced an allocation of RM30million to build the Piasau Nature Discovery Centre. Piasau Nature Reserves Miri, covering 93.5 hectares, was gazetted on Dec 31, 2013.

Abang Johari also revealed that Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in Kuching has been awarded the World Excellence Tourism Awards 2020 under the category of Sustainable Tourism programme, which will be presented in in Berlin, Germany, next month.

“These awards are given as recognition and to reward those who have contributed towards uplifting the country’s tourism industry. This shows that the world has recognised the uniqueness of Sarawak parks and wildlife,” he continued. — DayakDaily