End of Kubah Week, beginning of more intense conservation efforts
By Jude Toyat
WITH THE END OF KUBAH WEEK 2015 which celebrated the region’s diverse ecological diversity with games and activities, Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman urged the organiser, Sarawak Forestry Corporation to redouble efforts in its conservation and ecotourism undertakings.
“It is good to know that one of Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s KPI targets for 2015 is the ‘Zero Encroachment of the 12 Manned TPAs’ to ensure effective protection of the Totally Protected Areas,” he said at the closing ceremony of Kubah Week 2015 on April 26, adding that it was a commendable target to set.
He also recalled the keynote address by the Chief Minister during the Sarawak Tourism Forum 2015 held last week that the state government’s current directives and initiatives will ensure that more national parks will be created and Sarawak will have even more forested landscape to develop as ecotourism destinations in the coming years.
“In fact, the state government has targeted total area under TPA has been revised upwards from 1.0 million hectares to 1.5 million hectares.
“Nevertheless, size alone may not be sufficient to transform Sarawak into a Mecca of Eco-Tourism,” he added.
To achieve eco-tourism goals, other matters should be considered more than just the size like improvement of infrastructures, amenities and hospitality services.
“We have to invest and to form partnerships with the private sector to bring standards up to speed across the whole range of services offered to TPA visitors. Towards this end, we are working closely with the Ministry of Tourism both here in the state and in Kuala Lumpur to improve the infrastructure and amenities of all these parks,” he added.
“It is clear that with dedicated staff, wise planning, public and government support the futures of Kubah National Park and other TPAs in Sarawak are bright. Kubah National Park has much to offer, to both the casual visitor as well as the nature enthusiast.
“However as we partake in the many offering of this magnificent park, or that of the other national parks and TPAs in Sarawak, we must not forget our obligations to our stakeholders and to our future generations,” he said. “We must perform better as custodians to protect our national parks from encroachment.
Kubah Week 2015 were conducted in Kubah National Park and Matang Wildlife Centre over a period of two weeks starting from April 11 with exciting activities including ‘Adventures with Wildlife’, ‘Vallumbrosa Walk’, ‘iVolunteered’, ‘Frogging@Kubah’, ‘Thematic Walk’ that involves conservation education programme, general cleaning of the park, and jungle trekking.
The highlight of the programme was the ‘4th International Bornean Frog Race’ jointly organised by SFC and UNIMAS held to commemorate the ‘Save the Frogs Day’ and aims at drawing attention to the world’s declining amphibian population and the need for conservation. Workshops of frog photography, frog painting or drawing, talks by international experts in reptiles and amphibians and counting, photographing and identifying frogs and designated trails were also held.
First organised in 2013, Kubah Week is an annual event held at Kubah National Park in Matang near Kuching City. This was the third time the event has been held here and saw a steady increase in the number of participants and foreign participants for the Frog Race.