Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delay in World Heritage Application shows that Maliau Basin will be Denuded

Why the delay in the application?
It was mentioined more than 20 years ago. Will it take another 20
years to go ahead?
By this time the coal-powered plant will be operational and will have
the excuse to demand more coal from Maliau Basin.
Have you seen the strip mining in Indonesia? That will happen to
Maliau Basin and will be a disaster worse than the Copper Mine in

If Sabahans can get something out of it, it is all right but facts
show that Sabah has become worse off by being the poorest in the
world, and still the lowest
medical health facility in the world while having the highest case of
Jaundice in the world. All my 5 children got Jaundice at birth whereas
all of us 7 brothers and sisters never got any Jaundice at all.
All are due to the copper mine at Mamut, Ranau.

What will happen after the coal power plant and strip mining of Maliau
basin. What else apart from Jaundice will our future generations get
while still having the least number of doctors and hospitals in the

Malaysia Seeks Heritage Listing for Lost World
The Maliau Basin covers almost 600 square kilometers, hidden so deeply
within Borneo that it was only discovered in the 1970s. Much of it
remains unexplored.
Luke Hunt | Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 14 April 2010

Photo: VOA - L. Hunt
An Orangutan on north east Borneo, not far from the Maliau Basin,
which will soon be nominated as a World Heritage Site
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In Malaysia, authorities have ended years of debate and announced they
will seek a World Heritage listing for the Maliau Basin, a pristine
wilderness area in remote northern Borneo.

The decision to seek World Heritage status will effectively save the
isolated and celebrated rain forests from timber and mining interests.

The basin covers almost 600 square kilometers, hidden so deeply within
Borneo that it was only discovered in the 1970s. Much of it remains
unexplored. Scientists hail the Malaysian government's decision on a
heritage listing as a victory for the environment.

Glen Reynolds, director of the Royal Society's Southeast Asian rain
forest program, says a listing will go a long way toward securing the
forest's future.

"Oh it's fabulous, I think it's the most amazing bit of forest I've
ever been in," he said. "There's certain bits of Maliau Basin I doubt
there's ever, [that] anybody's ever set foot. The terrain is very
difficult, it's a got a certain degree of natural protection if you
like in as much as it's very inaccessible, but you know it's really

Miners and timber conglomerates have long eyed the minerals and trees
in the basin, which is home to clouded leopards, orangutans,
rhinoceros, pigmy elephants and hundreds of waterfalls.

Concerns for what remains of Malaysia's native habitat prompted a
decision by the Sabah state government that gave the go ahead for the
Maliau Basin to be nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

But Reynolds notes that rain forest preservation can only be achieved
by including timber companies and miners within the conservation

Malaysian resource company Sime Darby is negotiating to finance a 10-
year scientific study of altered forests and their ecosystems. Funding
is expected to top millions of dollars.

"Most forested areas and obviously plantations, it's all held by big
corporates," he said. "So if we're going to conserve these forests,
better manage them, then you've got to be working within and in
partnership with these companies. They are the major land managers now
in this part of Southeast Asia so it's critical that we're engaged
with them."

Increasingly companies and governments realize that carbon trading -
where industrial polluters pay countries with large forests to keep
trees standing could prove a lucrative way to raise the money to
protect the environment, and fund economic growth.

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