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YAYASAN SABAH – A statutory body established through Enactment No. 8 in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly in 1966 to complement and supplement the Sabah State Government’s efforts to uplift the standard of living of Malaysians in Sabah. To facilitate implementation of relevant programmes, the Sabah State Government provided Yayasan Sabah with forest land rich in timber which Yayasan Sabah manages in an integrated and sustainable manner, incorporating sound forest management practices and setting aside pristine areas for Conservation, Research, Training, Education and Nature Recreation, namely Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon Conservation Areas.

www.ysnet.org.my

 

PETRONAS – Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is Malaysia’s National Oil Company, and wholly-owned by the Government. Established in 1974, PETRONAS is ranked among the largest companies in the world with a proven track record in integrated oil and gas operations. Our business activities include (i) the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas locally and abroad; (ii) the liquefaction, sale and transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); (iii) the processing and transmission of natural gas, and the sale of natural gas products; (iv) the refining and marketing of petroleum products; (v) the manufacture and sale of petrochemical products; (vi) the trading of crude oil, natural gas, LNG, petroleum products and petrochemical products; and (vii) shipping and logistics relating to LNG, crude oil and petroleum products. Committed to ensuring long-term business sustainability, PETRONAS also strives to responsibly manage natural resources in a way that contributes holistically to the well-being of the people and nations where we operate.

PETRONAS – reimagining energy(tm)

We focus on collective efforts to do things differently by continuously challenging industry norms to achieve real, sustainable and long-term growth. Guided by this bold commitment, we constantly strive for new solutions and push boundaries to stay ahead.

www.petronas.com

MOU signing
 

The Memorandum of Understanding signed in July, 2011 between Yayasan Sabah, Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department, Academy of Sciences Malaysia and Japan’s Kyoto University Primate Research Institute will see the promotion of high quality scientific projects such as those related to conservation of key species, such as the Orang-Utan, the commercialization of the biodiversity and biotechnology of forest resources.

 

Together, YAYASAN SABAH and PETRONAS shall position ICCA as a Centre of Learning for Indigenous Community in biodiversity conservation and for gene bank conservation and the exploration of pharmaceutical and biotechnological potentials. Several programmes related to Environmental Education, Community Outreach, Public Awareness, Research & Capacity Building are being implemented. Apart from these, activities are carried out towards the formulation of the Imbak Canyon Conservation Area Strategic Management Plan and the construction of the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre.

 

IMBAK CANYON STEERING COMMITTEE

The Imbak Canyon Steering Committee is a Joint Steering Committee established to manage the projects under the Partnership. The membership of the Committee comprises representatives from PETRONAS and Yayasan Sabah (YS), and the chairmanship alternates between YS (represented by its Senior Group Manager, Human Resource and Corporate Services Division (Group) and PETRONAS (represented by its Senior General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs Division) at every meeting.

 

PROGRAMMES

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Environmental Education (EE) is now widely regarded as one of the most important environmental priorities. In recent years, it has gradually taken on greater significance as awareness of the scale and the implications of worldwide environmental issues, such as global warming, have increased. By participating in EE activities, participants become more aware of the values of their environment through hands-on experiential learning. Hence, the main objective of EE programmes under the Partnership is to promote environmental knowledge and awareness, in order to encourage commitment and involvement in conserving and protecting our natural heritage and to highlight ICCA’s natural heritage, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Among the activities being implemented are development of EE modules related to forest ecology, riverine ecology, bird identification, map reading and orienteering, land use management, insects, primates and mammals. Apart from that, nature orientation course, train-the-trainers course and sustainable development programme for community leaders will be conducted.

 

PUBLIC AWARENESS

The main objective of the Public Awareness programmes under the Partnership is to ensure widespread awareness among all stakeholders on conservation of ICCA in particular and the environment in general as well as to generate public support. This is in line with the positioning of ICCA as a centre of learning for indigenous community in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and for gene bank conservation and the exploration of pharmaceutical and biotechnological potentials. Key messages highlight the special features and importance of ICCA including its critical function as a major headwater of the Kinabatangan River, along which many of the local communities are located. The programme will involve production and dissemination of materials such as media articles, booklets, leaflets/brochures, calenders, merchandises and development of a website. Interpretation of ICCA itself will form an integral part of activities and will include development of displays, signage and nature trails. Special visits by journalists and other members of the media will also be arranged.

 

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Unlike Danum Valley and Maliau Basin Conservation Areas, ICCA is located near 48 villages in the District of Tongod, with a combined population of almost 30,000 (2010 population census). There are 3 pre-school, 18 primary schools and 3 secondary schools in the District. The outreach programmes focus on local communities. Among the outreach programmes being implemented are the following:

  • Dialogues with community leaders to acquire critical issues of concern among the communities as well as to garner their support for conservation of ICCA via briefings during the session.
  • ICCA ex-situ and in-situ open day to promote ICCA and build up a good rapport with the local communities, NGOs and other agencies in Tongod District.
  • Training of porters and guides to develop capacity of youths to provide guiding and porter services to visitors to ICCA as well as establishment of porters and guide association.
  • Construction of jetty to provide facility for the people of Ulu Kinabatangan, many of whom live along the river and use boat as their main mode of transportation.
  • Construction of Information Centre at Kg. Imbak, the gateway to ICCA, and where visitors can get information about Ulu Kinabatangan and ICCA. The Centre shall also act as office for the Porters and Guide Association.

 

RESEARCH

As a new Conservation Area, very little is documented on its wildlife, flora and other natural resources. Such baseline information is very much needed for the preparation of its Management Plan as well as to promote and facilitate its management, research, education and public awareness activities. In view of this, the research in ICCA is prioritised according to needs with what is available and smart collaboration and networking with other institutions and organizations to synergise efforts for maximum output. Some preliminary information is available through the three scientific expeditions organized within ICCA, namely the 2000 Scientific Expedition organized by Sabah Forestry Department at the eastern part of ICCA near the entrance of the Canyon, the 2005 Scientific Expedition organized by Yayasan Sabah in the middle of the Canyon and the 2010 Scientific Expedition organized by Yayasan Sabah and Academy of Sciences Malaysia at Gunung Kuli area. The Research Programme under the YS-PETRONAS Imbak Canyon Conservation Partnership will focus on the following:

  • A general wildlife monitoring and survey within ICCA and its surroundings. In conjunction with the survey, an analysis of the surrounding landscape will be made to assess and document if it sustains such wildlife as well as its how accessible accessibility.
  • Basic research on climatology and hydrology to facilitate future research undertakings in ICCA.
  • To assess if ICCA is a suitable habitat for primates especially Orang-utan and feasibility of ICCA as a sanctuary for translocation of Orang utan.

 

ETHNO-FORESTRY/ETHNOBOTANICAL SURVEY

Efforts are being made under the Partnership to survey and document forest products and natural resource used by the communities surrounding ICCA. The Study is in line with the positioning of ICCA as a centre of learning for indigenous community in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and for gene bank conservation and the exploration of pharmaceutical and biotechnological potentials. To date only 4 expeditions have been conducted in ICCA. Although the expeditions were conducted in a short period of time, the expeditions have revealed that the area has high density of medicinal plants – a true pharmaceutical haven.

 

CONSTRUCTION OF IMBAK CANYON STUDIES CENTRE, RELATED FACILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURES

The full extent of the endemism of flora and fauna in ICCA has yet to be studied and determined. This can only be achieved by making the area more accessible by providing the necessary logistical supports for research, education, training and public awareness to be carried out. Access of the public to the area is equally important in order to raise the public’s appreciation of the area. To achieve both of the above, a gateway into the area is being established, namely the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre (ICSC). The Centre will serve as a research, training and education facility, and will provide pertinent facilities such as office, accommodation for staff, researchers and visitors, classroom, laboratories, conference room and mini-theater, nature gallery and library. Apart from that, VSAT and radio communications will be provided. Several research stations with basic facilities will also be established within ICCA, and these will be linked by series of jungle trails. A nature trail with signages/interpretations shall be established with ICSC. In constructing the ICSC, care will taken to ensure minimal felling of trees, and that equal number of felled trees will be planted.

 

IMBAK CANYON CONSERVATION AREA (ICCA) STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PLAN

A Management Plan is a crucial step towards more effective management of ICCA. It is a practical tool for decision-making in the daily management as well as future priorities and directions. Due to ICCA’s inherent importance as an area of outstanding wilderness with a unique landscape, flora and fauna, ICCA is a perfect area for conservation, research, education and nature recreation. Although preliminary inventory work and other exploration of ICCA have been done in recent years, considerable information is still needed and yet to be consolidated into a strategy for conserving and managing the area on a long-term basis, nor have the necessary zoning and planning taken place on which to base any expanse use of the area without devaluing its conservation value. The social and cultural elements will also be addressed in this plan as they are considered to be a significant attributes of ICCA because there are communities living in the area surrounding ICCA and their major known cultural links to ICCA. A technical expertise on development of ICCA management plan has been engaged, and several workshops held towards the formulation of ICCA Strategic Management Plan 2013 – 2022.

 

CAPACITY BUILDING

Many of our protected areas, including Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA) need the human, technical or administrative capacity to adequately support their core management activities. As participation of the surrounding communities is part and parcel of the development and success of the YS-PETRONAS Imbak Canyon Conservation Partnership, staff will need a new range of skills which may vary and often relate to interaction with people, including both indigenous and local communities and also the increasing number of visitors who want to visit ICCA and experience wild nature. Specialized staff trainings are among the capacity building agenda, which encompass trainings on basic courses, field courses, visitor management and education, technical courses and safety.