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Borneo Geographic Expedition seminar explores findings

Mohd. Hafiz Syukri bin Kassim (right) briefing KY Mustafa and Jamalul on his research output, Macrofungi Diversity of Kangkawat Research Station, Imbak Canyon Conservation Area.

17th April, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: A seminar on Borneo Geographic Expedition 2019: Kangkawat Research Station, Imbak Canyon Conservation Area was held Tuesday.

The seminar was organised by the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation (IBTP), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in collaboration with the Yayasan Sabah Group.

The objective of the seminar is to share information and to document the findings obtained during the expedition. Among the areas studied include the study of flora and fauna diversity, forest ecology, water quality, geology, hydrology and components of social science and ecotourism.

Kangkawat, which is part of the Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA), is a forest dominated by dipterocarp forests and is rich in plant diversity as it is known as a gene bank.

In his speech, director of Yayasan Sabah, Datuk Haji Jamalul Kiram said: “There are 49 presentations whereby 26 are oral presentations and 23 are poster presentations.”

He also shared, “ICCA is one of the five conservation areas managed by Yayasan Sabah Group, in addition to Danum Valley, Maliau Basin, Silam Coast and Taliwas River. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology potential of ICCA is vast and needs to be explored.

ICCA is also an important component of the biodiversity corridor, especially the mammal wildlife, connecting the Maliau Basin to the south and the Danum Valley to the east. It also serves as a water catchment area for the longest river system in Sabah, the Kinabatangan River.”

Jamalul added, “Yayasan Sabah Group collaborates with PETRONAS to develop ICCA as a learning centre for local communities in biodiversity conservation as well as gene bank conservation, and exploration of pharmaceutical and biological potentials.”

The Imbak Canyon Studies Centre (ICSC) which was recently officiated by Chief Minister cum Chairman of the Yayasan Sabah Board of Trustees, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, will be the centre for tropical rainforest research, education and capacity building.

“ICSC has a total area of 27 hectares equipped with various facilities related to research, education, training and nature recreation. There are six research stations, namely Tampoi, Batu Timbang, Kangkawat, Gunung Kuli, Pinang-Pinang and Kapur with one hydrology station, two weather stations, as well as the availability of experienced and qualified research assistants supporting research programmes at ICCA.

“I encourage students and researchers from local and international universities to utilise this facility to its fullest and carry out research on biodiversity, ecology, physical sciences, nature tourism and other fields that are needed to manage the conservation area effectively.

“The vast forest of Imbak Canyon could offer researchers a wide research topic from fundamental to applied researches,” Jamalul remarked.

“Not only does ICCA be sustained as our natural heritage, but it also serves as a rich source of knowledge on the ever-phenomenal tropical rainforest,” concluded Datuk Jamalul.

The event was officiated by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Datuk K.Y Mustafa. Also in attendance were Prof. Datuk Dr. D. Kamarudin D. Mudin, Vice Chancellor of UMS, senior officials of Yayasan Sabah Group and UMS.

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