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By Christopher Lidom
KUCHING, May 26: The Sarawak Government has approved the establishment of the Sarawak Delta Geopark (SDGp) as part of initiatives to preserve special geological, biological and cultural heritage in Kuching, Bau, Siburan and Padawan sub-districts.
Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the 311,246-hectare SGDp had undergone an evaluation process to be recognised as a National Geopark on Jan 19 to 21, 2022, and is expected to be certified in June 2022.
“Next, the Sarawak Government will develop the SDGp as a Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Global Geopark,” he said during his winding-up speech during the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.
He said with this recognition, SDGp will be a new brand which will benefit from environmentally-friendly global publicity, geo-tourism promotion, enhanced infrastructure and socio-economic development as well as employment opportunities for the local community.
“At the same time, the Sarawak government is also in the process of gaining recognition for Niah National Park as a Unesco world heritage site,” he said.
Meanwhile, Awang Tengah, who is also the Second Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister said Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) is collaborating with leading international research institutions such as the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (Singapore), the Hornbill Research Foundation (Thailand) and the Smithsonian Institution (USA) for the Research for Intensified Management of Bio-rich Areas (Rimba) programme.
He revealed Rimba is a platform for international researchers to collaborate in developing intensive and practical conservation management procedures for biodiversity-rich areas in Sarawak.
He pointed out that the programme’s results included the identification of eight new species of Begonia in Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary and Batang Ai National Park which has been published in The Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore journal.
“This include the preliminary findings in hornbill research with the Hornbill Research Foundation (Thailand) in the breeding, care and conservation of hornbill populations since 2017 which will form the basis for the sustainable management of this species, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japan Research Consortium involving 15 research institutions from Japan to further develop studies of flora and fauna within the Fully Protected Areas (TPA),” he added. — DayakDaily