Bukit Lima Nature Reserve to be gazetted as Sibu’s ‘Urban Green Area’

Posted on : 09 Feb 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari leads others during the tour into the BLNR. On his left is Zolkipli.

SIBU: The Bukit Lima Nature Reserve (BLNR) will be gazetted as an ‘Urban Green Area’ here, as part of Sarawak’s conservation policy in developing this town.

In announcing this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said through the gazette, the government would provide more facilities and improve the existing ones at the BLNR and its surrounding areas, including drainage and roads.

“This place will not be used for development; it will be a green area in Sibu. Once we gazette it, we will improve the infrastructure here; we will re-do the drainage around Bukit Lima and it will become a tourism area.

“We want to promote Sibu. With the (natural) habitat, we will comply with the international requirements.

Abang Johari (centre), with Uggah on his right, unveils the new SFC logo, as (from left) Fatimah, Zolkipli and Abdul Karim look on.

“We conserve our area as we develop, and we also give space to the natural habitat,” he spoke at the launch of World Wetlands Day 2020 at the BLNR here yesterday.

Adding on, Abang Johari said the decision to gazette the nature reserve as an ‘Urban Green Area’ was also aimed at helping to educate the townsfolk, particularly the younger generation, about sustainable development.

According to him, Sarawak is one of the states that have positive and innovative ‘green’ policies and initiatives in their development plans.

“Sibu is in the process of urban renewal and the state government, under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) ruling coalition, will improve the structure of the urban areas and as we develop the real-estate, we must also allocate a green area within an urban centre,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that he would allocate fund, under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), to improve the road leading to the BLNR.

He also called upon the corporate bodies to assist in the developing the infrastructure there.

Additionally, he said Sibu was lucky to have the BLNR, as Miri with its Piasau Nature Reserve.

In this respect, he said the Sarawak government was developing the Simalajau National Park into becoming a nature reserve.

“In developing cities and towns, we take the importance of green areas. We are very committed to conserving our environment.

“The ambassador from the EU (European Union) acknowledges us (Sarawak government) of having the positive approaches towards conserving the environment,” he said.

At the event, Abang Johari also launched the new Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) logo and performed the earth-breaking ceremony for the upgrading works on BLNR Customer Service Centre.

Covering 219.22 hectares, BLNR is nestled right at the centre of this town and is open to the public.

It has served as a recreational place for the townsfolk since July 2001.

In February 2012, it was gazetted as a ‘Totally Protected Area’.

According to SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, the peat swamp forest in the BLNR is regarded as an important wetland for a diverse group of flora and fauna.

“BLNR is a home to 58 species of birds including the Bornean bristlehead and the black hornbill which are categorised as ‘Totally Protected Species’ under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998; five species of protected wild animals comprising the Rofous Woodpecker, Hill Mynah, Rufous Piculet, Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot and Long-tailed Parakeet; various species of mammals including the squirrel and the bat (chiroptera), rodents, long-tailed macaques, plantain squirrels, ‘sambar’ deer, mousedeer and tree shrews,” he said, adding that the BLNR also had the potential to become a botany garden and a prime location for bird-watching.

Also present at the event were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas; Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Assistant Minister of Urban Development and Resources Datu Len Talif Salleh; and Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee.