A one million hectare marine park. Isn’t it fantastic that our world is finally realizing the terrible impact global warming and ecological destruction poses on our society? Northern Sabah has been planning this for seven years. The park has shown a greater range of biodiversity than the Caribbean and Great Barrier reef in Australia. It is called Tun Mustapha and fantastic initiative by Malaysia and various environmental protection organizations to preserve the world’s natural wonders.
According to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili it is just in time, “Any further delay will lead to the sensitive areas being further degraded.” Borneo is a popular eco-tourism destination, offering an exotic and wide range of flora and fauna however is threatened by the dependence on the fishing industry. The areas to fall into this marine park are Kudat, Kota, Maruda, and Pitas as well as 50 islands in total.
This area will be the largest conservation region in Malaysia, incorporating a population of 80,000 who are sustained by the fishery industry. Nevertheless, researchers from Maruda Bay and Universiti Putra Malaysia have found that opening this conservation park will give way to many new job opportunities. Based on their findings the population will have the options of developing and working in green tourism, homestays, aquaculture, sea cucumber and cage fish rearing, oyster breeding, sea transportation, mangrove boardwalks and bird observatories. Considering the eco-tourism industry grows with 5% annually worldwide, this form of economic income will likely keep expanding not costing the environment and its wonderful life nor the people in the conservation regions.
Aside from helping the environment, and giving more travel options for the ecological traveller, it will also offer the people in the region to explore more than just primary resource gathering and form independent forms of business in an eco-friendly manner. So far, all I see is a win win situation all around! Or am I missing something?