TAMPARULI: An environmental education and tourism information centre on the Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve needs to be established in Kiulu, to enable local communities to understand the richness of the ecosystem, and use it to improve their livelihood, by engaging in ecotourism activities among others.
In making this call today, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the centre should be established in the Kiulu area in view of the fact that Kiulu was located in the biosphere reserve’s buffer zone (the area surrounding the core or protected zone of the reserve) and the transition zone (outer area of the reserve where people live and work).
As such, Kiulu had the potential to become a hotspot for tourists keen on exploring the wonders of the tropical forest, he said.
The biosphere reserve spans nine administrative areas in the state, comprising Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Papar, Beaufort, Tenom, Keningau, Tambunan, Ranau and Tuaran.
In this connection, Madius, who is also the state Trade and Industry Minister, said he would work towards getting the support of all local authorities concerned to establish the centre.
He said this after launching an exhibition on the Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve and a related programme, in the Tuaran district here.
Meanwhile, according to Sabah Parks deputy director Daring Laban, out of the 686 biosphere reserves identified in 122 countries, only two were located in Malaysia, and these included the Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve which received this recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on June 12, 2014.