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17 July 2014

Breathing in the fresh air, listening to birds chirping, feeling the cool wind against your cheeks, you thought to yourself, ‘Could it get any better?’. Taking in the lush greenery and embracing the calm serenity make the journey to Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA) worthwhile. The road to ICCA may seem familiar to those who have travelled to this virgin rainforest but for 21 media practitioners, it was a new exciting adventure.

Yayasan Sabah with PETRONAS organised a media visit to ICCA recently, aiming at promoting awareness on ICCA. The visit was also an introduction of Imbak Canyon to the media practitioners.

It was also part of the Public Awareness programme which falls under the eight core programmes of the Yayasan Sabah – PETRONAS ICCA Partnership. It includes, among others, Environmental Education, Community Outreach, Ethno-Forestry Research and Documentation, Research, Capacity Building, Formulation of Imbak Canyon Management Plan and early planning towards the Construction of Imbak Canyon Studies Centre.

After an eight-hour drive, the entourage arrived at Tampoi Research Station (TRS) in ICCA where they spent their two nights in the surrounding beauty of Imbak Canyon. Staying at TRS, equipped only with basic amenities, was more comfortable than expected. On top of that, the warm hospitality of the staff made it feel even more like home. The following day the entourage were brought to Imbak Waterfalls and their fitness were later tested as they jungle trekked for 1.2 km at the Big Belian Camp. Despite their fatigue, they took time to appreciate and admire the beauty of the pristine rainforest.

“This whole experience has been very educational. The fact that it was a difficult journey getting here and even though we are only at the tip of the whole conservation area, we appreciate the treasure that it holds,” shared Rozana Sani from New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur. She added, “I will come back when the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre (ICSC) is up and running. I believe that it is important that the community be part of this effort as well.”

For Mohammad Hafiz Ahmad from KOSMO, this is not his first time visiting one of Yayasan Sabah’s conservation areas. A few years back, he had the opportunity to visit Danum Valley. He said, “Imbak is a really pure, untouched virgin rainforest and for myself, I really had a great experience here. Jungle trekking was exciting and enjoyable. Going uphill and downhill, seeing trees as tall as it can go and a variety of plants along the way made it even more worthwhile.”

Not only Hafiz, but Soo Wan Ming from See Hua Daily News also shared the same thought. “Imbak is a great place to be. It has great nature and beautiful waterfalls.” A nature-loving person, Soo loves the cool breeze of Imbak Canyon. “I have been to Gunung Mulu before and it was quite cool there. But I think Imbak is much cooler as compared to Gunung Mulu. I love the cool breeze here. It is very comfortable.”

As for Margaret Gimbang, from RTM, “I think more expeditions should be carried out through the partnership.  It would be interesting if a specified area is identified where we can see the wildlife, something like a night safari perhaps?”.

On the other hand, Eric Bagang, a reporter from New Sabah Times, commended the Yayasan Sabah – PETRONAS ICCA Partnership. “I am impressed with the effort by Yayasan Sabah and PETRONAS partnership in conserving probably the last pristine forest in Malaysia. More interestingly, it is good that Imbak Canyon conservation efforts are being carried out by local partnership, which shows that, the local do care about conserving their forest. I must also give credit to Yayasan Sabah for guarding Imbak Canyon Conservation Area from logging activities in the area.” Jokingly he added, “May I suggest that Yayasan Sabah do something about the pacat? The thought of pacat, is stopping me from trekking into the forest.”

More programmes and efforts will be put into conserving Imbak Canyon. Although there are many work to be done and challenges to overcome throughout the process, Imbak Canyon is indeed a treasure to be kept well preserved, not only for the present but also for the future generation to appreciate.


For further details, please contact:

Sam S. Karnail
Group Manager
Corporate Communications Division
Yayasan Sabah Group
Tel          :               088-326448
Fax         :               088-421526
Email     :     

Photo captions


Pix 1

Pix 1Pix 1pix 2Rozana (left) and Hafiz (right) interviewing one of ICCA staff, Jemma Del Rio (middle)

Pix 2pix 2Soo (right) deep in conversation with Eric (left)

Pix 3

pix 3Margaret during her video recording at Imbak Waterfalls

Pix 4

pix 4

Eric applying mosquito repellent before the jungle trekking activity

Pix 5

pix 4pix 5Soo (left), Eric (second, left) and Bong Tze Pin (second, right) from Overseas Chinese Daily News capturing a memory at the Imbak Waterfalls with their colleague

Pix 6

pix 6While jungle trekking, Bong Tze Pin, took the time for a picture from inside of the Kapur Hollow Tree

Pix 7

pix 7Mohd. Hafizol Ramli from RTM getting a good angle to capture the best pictures of the Imbak Waterfalls

Pix 8

pix 8Trees reaching high towards the sky give cool shade

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