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Batu Timbang Scientific Expedition Explores ICCA’s Treasures

Among the crowd at the seminar

A seminar on Imbak Canyon Batu Timbang Scientific Expedition has opened the eyes and minds of the public to be interested in doing further research. This was remarked by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun in his official launching speech during the Imbak Canyon Batu Timbang Scientific Expedition Seminar which was held for two days beginning 4 December 2017 at Tun Hamdan Theater, Menara Tun Mustapha.

In conjunction with this seminar, Datuk Seri Masidi also launched the ICCA Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023. In his speech, Datuk Seri Masidi also expressed, “It is good news that many local scientists are into conservation research.” He added, “I think we should have more local researchers and not forever be dependent on foreigners, though we are very grateful for their presence. They have contributed a lot in the creation of knowledge but our people need to be at par with their capacity to research.”

Datuk Seri Masidi also congratulated Yayasan Sabah Group and PETRONAS for the teamwork. “PETRONAS has always shown a high commitment and responsibility towards environmental protection and sustainable development in order to create future together. I hope PETRONAS will be able and continue to collaborate with Yayasan Sabah Group to develop and preserve this conservation area,” he said.

On 16 to 26 August 2017, a group of 177 participants comprising representatives from Yayasan Sabah Group, Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Museum and several government departments and agencies, institutions of higher learning and NGOs participated in the Imbak Canyon Batu Timbang Scientific Expedition (BTSE), covering a wide range of scientific topics such as Physical Science, Social Science & Tourism, Flora and Fauna.

The scientific and socio-economic expedition was funded by PETRONAS and organised by Yayasan Sabah Group in association with the Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Museum, Tongod District Office and other relevant government departments and agencies, institutions of higher learning and NGOs.

As a sequel to the expedition, this seminar was held to discuss on the expedition’s findings. The seminar was a platform for researchers/scientists to present and share their findings during the expedition to the research community, students and the public.

In his speech, the Director of Yayasan Sabah, Datuk Sapawi Bin Haji Ahmad said, “The ten-day expedition was part of the activities planned under the ICCA Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023.” He also added, “The programme aims to obtain scientific information for updating data on the diversity of biodiversity of flora and fauna, physical sciences and assessing the potential eco-tourism and threats of the area as proposed in the ICCA Strategic Management Plan. In addition, this expedition covers the social sciences aspects of the local community around ICCA.”

His speech was delivered by Group Manager of Conservation and Environmental Management Division, Dr. Yap Sau Wai.

“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to PETRONAS for their support and contribution in the development of ICCA. Under the Yayasan Sabah-PETRONAS Imbak Canyon Conservation Partnership, PETRONAS has contributed RM83 million for ICCA including the construction of the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre,” said Datuk Sapawi.

One of the key outputs of this collaboration is the publication of the ICCA Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023 which was made possible with the financial assistance from PETRONAS and active participation of all relevant stakeholder who shares their experience and knowledge. “With the ICCA Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023 which provide a ten-year framework for conservation activities in ICCA, I am confident that the implementation of a sustainable forest management will be achieved,” said Datuk Sapawi.

‘The plan places an emphasis on planning according the programme area in order to better provide focus and ownership. Each programme area details the long-term desired management outcomes and describes the activities required to achieve them”, he added.

The eleven programme areas outlined in the plan are: 1) Strategic conservation management; 2) Conservation area management; 3) Research; 4) Operation and administration; 5) Infrastructure and maintenance; 6) Local communities and neighbours outreach programme; 7) Sustainable tourism and recreation; 8) Environmental Education; 9) Public awareness; 10) Sustainable financing and 11) Capacity building.

The two-day seminar was attended by expedition participants, Heads of Government departments and agencies, institutions of higher learning, Non-Governmental Organisations and individual.

Datuk Seri Masidi (third left), Encik Robert Stidi (second left) and Dr. Yap (left) at the exhibition with one of the presenters of the seminar.

 

Datuk Seri Masidi launching the Batu Timbang Scientific Expedition Seminar. Also in the picture are Encik Robert Stidi, Tongod District Officer (left), Dr. Yap (second left), Ms. Lizuryaty Azrina Abdullah (second right), Head of Social Performance Department, Health, Security, Securities and Environment Division, PETRONAS and Datin Norzita A. Samad (right), Head of Corporate Social Investment Union, Public Relations Department and Regional Office, Group Strategic Communications Division, PETRONAS.

 

Datuk Seri Masidi (right) going through the Imbak Canyon Strategic Management Plan 2014-2023. Also in the picture are Encik Robert Siti (left), Dr. Yap (second left), Ms Lizuryaty (third right) and Datin Norzita (second right).

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