DAILY EXPRESS NEWS
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
April 25, 2003
Lahad Datu: Danum Valley is an important and one
of the last remaining tracts of lowland tropical rainforest on Borneo
Island and probably one of the few globally, said Yayasan Sabah
(YS) Director Tan Sri Khalil Jamalul.
“It is a ‘laboratory’ which provides us living
samples of plants and animals, equipped with the natural evolution
processes that take place for many million years,” he said.
“The great biological diversity of the tropical rainforest
such as Danum Valley gives us enormous genetic resources that are
waiting to be discovered,” he added at the official launching
of the Danum Valley Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Scientific
Expedition 2003 at the Danum Valley Field Centre on Wednesday. His
speech was read by YS Assistant Group Manager (Forestry and Marketing
Division), Mohd Daud Tampokong.
Khalil, who is also YS investment arm Innoprise Corporation Sdn
Bhd (ICSB) Chairman, said these resources are yet to be studied,
explored and managed sustainably to benefit mankind.
He believed that without careful exploration, the knowledge of
the tropical rainforest would remain mysterious.
“YS/ICSB welcome researchers and academic institutions to
work together in encouraging efforts to develop the knowledge on
tropical rainforest,” he said.
Earlier, UKM Acting Vice Chancellor, Datuk Dr Mohd Salleh Mohd
Yassin, said in his speech that Danum Valley is one of the few remaining
lowland dipterocarp forests in Sabah protected for the purpose of
wildlife sanctuary conservation in perpetuity.
“Flora and fauna diversity here is high, including rare and
threatened species such as the Sumatran rhinoceros, tembakau, clouded
leopard, orang utan, proboscis monkey and the elusive Borneon bay
cat. The number of species of birds recorded is 275,” he said.
Thus, he added, the Danum Valley UKM Scientific Expedition 2003
attempts to identify and highlight flora and fauna bio-diversity,
socio-economic, geological and the physiochemical aspects.
Mohd Salleh said the area of research would cover forest management
and conservation, botany, zoology, water, air and sound quality,
weather, socio-economic, phytochemistry, geology and soil sciences.
The Danum Valley UKM Scientific Expedition 2003 is aimed, among
others, at developing a fully facilitated research station and a
database on natural resources.
Seventy UKM staff and students are involved in the expedition in
collaboration with YS and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.