LAST_UPDATEWed, 25 Apr 2018 8pm

Sabah Continues To Be Role Model In Tropical Biodiversity Management

KOTA KINABALU -- The Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC) and various state agencies are continuing to be a role model for developing countries in tropical biodiversity management with the launch of the Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) next month.

ITBC director Prof. Dr Charles Santhanaraju Vairappan said the TCTP 2015, organised by the ITBC of University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and state Natural Resource Office (NRO) from Aug 6 to 26, is part of the Malaysian government's vision to develop the country as a centre of excellence in conservation, research and utilisation of tropical biological diversity by 2020.

"The programme's concept is derived from the United Nations' Triangular Cooperation initiative with expertise provided by government agencies such as Sabah Biodiversity Centre (SaBC), Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Parks and Sabah Forestry Department.

"Seventeen officers from government departments and agencies involved in biodiversity and ecosystem conversation from the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), South Asia and Africa -- Cambodia, Botswana, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Tanzania and Kenya -- will take part in the programme," he said at a press conference here Thursday.

According to Dr Charles in previous programmes, participants showed much success in dealing with challenges in biodiversity conservation in their home country after attending the training.

"Some were promoted to key positions afterwards; they had an opportunity to provide input into government policies. The whole idea of the course is to help other countries in the region and other developing nations to tackle tropical biodiversity issues," he said.

He said now in its final phase in the second cycle since its introduction in 2009, this year's programme is titled 'Integrated Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management' and funded at a cost of around RM400,000 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

According to him participants would learn research and education, park and habitat management, public awareness and integrated conservation and undertake field trips to protected areas in the west coast of Sabah.

He said the training among other things to emphasise integrated efforts between agencies and locals for better understanding of alternative livelihood in conservation, facilitate sharing of experiences, and develop like-minded officers in developing countries towards working together in conservation.

The third cycle of the programme is expected to take place from 2016-2018.