Crocker Range accorded Biosphere reserve status
Published on: Monday, October 20, 2014
Text Size:

KUALA LUMPUR: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has officially declared 350,584 hectares of Sabah's Crocker Range Park comprising its core and buffer zones and an expanded transition zone as a Man And Biosphere (MAB) reserve aimed at improving man's relationship with his ecosystems through education and science.This historic declaration for Sabah marks the second of such honour for Malaysia, after Pahang's Lake Chini on December 8, 2009, out of a total of 620 in the world.

So, it's a very rare breed in the country.

Amidst fanfare and pomp of Unesco Day celebration at Dataran Merdeka last Saturday, Unesco Regional Director Professor Dr Hubert Gizjin presented Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin a certificate of recognition which officially declares the 75km long and 15km wide Crocker Range Park as a MAB reserve.

The event has enlarged the original protected core and buffer zones from 199,000 hectares (1,444.92 sq km) to 350,584 hectares by an inclusion of 1457.79 sq km of forest reserves encompassing eight districts - Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Papar, Beaufort, Tenom, Keingau, Tambunan and Ranau.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, later handed the designation certificate to Sabah's Assistant Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Nyuk Ming, who represented his Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, witnessed by Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap.

Effectively, this declaration makes Crocker Range Biosphere part of the Sweden's Jonkoping University, known for being the most international university with an extensive exchange partners of 350 universities worldwide, which may prove a good helping hand to share insights and skills on working out a roadmap to improve the protection of Sabah's stock of ecosystems that are under stress.

But unlike the Kinabalu Park which is a totally protected area, the Crocker Range Park hitherto featured Community Use Zones defined areas where traditional human activities may be continued under an innovative co-management system to manage part of the core zones and also the buffer zones, agreed between the protected area or Park Authority and the local communities, in recognition that they were there before the park was established.

What's new about the Crocker Range Biosphere reserve is that it will henceforth incorporate the eight districts afore-cited, into the decision making process where development is going to be based on verified scientific research and continual monitoring.

But besides terrestrial ecosystems, biosphere reserves also include the coastal ecosystems.

The historic Unesco recognition boosts the international image of Sabah Parks to a new height but the continual status of Crocker Range Biosphere reserve depends on Sabah Parks and other stakeholders' ability to live up to its terms and conditions, senior Park Officer Ludi conceded.

Sabah Parks Director Dr Jamili Nais led a contingent of about 10 senior officers and rangers to witness the first such accolade for Sabah.

Dr Hubert said the whole idea of Unesco is to establish a foundation for sustainable development by maximising the role of education, science and a culture of peace and inclusion.

Muhyiddin vowed that Malaysia is committed to the cause and objectives of Unesco and promised to remain so.

The biosphere is defined the zone of life on earth comprising the global sum of all ecosystems.

Malaysian physicist and industrialist Koid Huan Kuan has been quoted as saying "without life, the global sum of money has zero value!"

The Man and Biosphere Programme was established at the 1970 General Conference of Unesco for the purpose of addressing the economic, educational, scientific and recreational needs of humankind.

It is an inter-disciplinary effort between the social and natural sciences that seek to improve the relationship between people and their environment by supporting the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity, and promoting the study of the interrelationships of the humans and natural systems of the earth.

As an inter-governmental programme, it now gives Sabah the opportunity to tab into international expertise and standards to improve the management of resources and its stock or sum of eco-systems, where MAB already has scientific research projects focused on three areas: Minimising the loss of biological diversity; Making people aware of how cultural diversity and biological diversity affect each other; and promoting environmental sustainability through the World Network of Biosphere reserves.


Other News

Follow Us  

Follow us on            

National Top Stories