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'Sandakan's fortunes in eco-tourism'
Published on: Friday, August 21, 2009

Sandakan: Batu Sapi MP, Edmund Chong Ket Wah, said nature tourism was the way forward for the district. "It will definitely enhance Sandakan's economy with the influx of tourists from all over the world."The Sandakan Rainforest Park is an additional attraction which is not only unique but it is conveniently located within the town area," he said when launching the Sandakan Rainforest Park book, Thursday.

He said with such strong history and scientific values as written and illustrated in the book, the Sandakan Rainforest Park, also known as Kebun Cina Forest Reserve, deserved to be conserved and promoted as an eco-tourist destination.

"That is why I believe the State Government gazetted this forest as an Amenity Forest Reserve in January 2007," Chong said.

"The core area of this park is still in pristine condition. Many lowland species of flora and fauna of Borneo are found in this forest.

"It is a good example of a lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah, with about 34 dipterocarp species, some with spectacular size.

"There are also four species of the carnivorous pitcher plants, scientifically known as Nepenthes, or sometimes known as the monkey cup É this fascinates people," he said.

Apart from that, Chong said there were also other interesting plants such as the Karamunting, an evergreen, ornamental shrub, after which the Karamunting area here was named.

"The fauna which includes the mammals, birds and insects are equally interesting even though this patch of forest is surrounded by housing areas and other developments."

He said nature trails on pitcher plants and the forest with tree tags have been established to enable locals and tourists to enjoy, understand and appreciate nature.

"I hope the public will take care of the facilities provided by the government for a better and healthier environment É I am also pleased to know that an impressive website has been developed, featuring the Sandakan Rainforest Park," he said.

Meanwhile, Chong encouraged the Forestry Department and Sandakan Municipal Council to expedite the development of the park based on the masterplan for the benefit of visitors.

"As MP for the constituency which covers this park, I will try my best to facilitate the development of the park," he said.



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