The third country training program was conducted at the University of Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in the institute of Tropical Biology Conservation (ITBC) between 4th- 27th October 2011.
Representatives from 8 countries including Uganda attended the course. Other countries were Thailand, India, Brunei, Myanmar, Indonesia, Mali and Tanzania.
Uganda was represented by four officers and Justine Namara, the Senior Planning and EIA Officer, represented Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Sabah state is the second largest state in Malaysia and consists of various ecosystems including tropical rain forests, wetlands, open water, mangroves, which provided participants with a number of approaches on how to best manage these ecosystems. In addition Malaysia has unique biodiversity with endemic species including primate’s e. g the Orangutans and the proboscis monkey.
With full government support for environmental conservation, Malaysia has managed to rapidly develop while conserving its biodiversity. The country still boasts of 53% forest cover of the total land surface and is jealously protecting this tree cover.
This is a lesson to the developing countries that we do not have to destroy the biodiversity in order to develop but to sustainably utilize our natural resources.
On tourism, Malaysia receives about 24 million tourists with Sabah state alone relieving more than 3 million a year. This is because the Malaysian government has invested heavily in tourism infrastructure including roads, nature trails, and canopy walks, tourism sites which facilitate easy and clean tourism. Besides, there are efforts to encourage domestic tourism and involving local people in participating in tourism through homestays and one village one product.
Compiled by Jackie