Monday, 14 November 2011

Plans to include Melilas, Sukang in biodiversity survey

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

THE Sg Ingei Faunal Biodiversity Survey team hopes to include Kg Sukang and Kg Melilas in their project as an effort to protect its wildlife, but this depends on the availability of funding.

A team of UBD scientists are currently undertaking a two-year survey of Sg Ingei in Belait to explore and document the wildlife of Sungai Ingei Protection Forest as it is believed to be one of the richest forests in the Heart of Borneo (HoB) project.

The survey's Project Administrator Dr Ang Bee Biaw said: "Sg ingei itself is only 18,000 hectares. That is only a small part of the country but the results that we have got is really encouraging. We are hoping that the government will convert this to a wildlife sanctuary."

To include other places for protection there is a need to do survey (in this area) first.

"We are hoping to get extra funding to buy more camera traps to survey areas between Melilas and Sg Ingei," Dr Ang said, adding that they were looking to turn Melilas into a centre of educational and tourism activities.

They also suggested for the establishment of a buffer area that can be zoned for ecotourism and other activities.

"We are hoping that once we have the different zoning done, (it will) convince the government that this is the (proper) way they can do it," she explained.

"One of the reasons why we work in Sg Ingei is because we want Kg Melilas to be known in Brunei. We are hoping that Kg Melilas will return to its old glory self. We do have lots of plans for KgMelilas and its people," she added.

According to Dr Ang, the Acting Penghulu of Kg Melilas, Pehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Hj Muhd Ali Abdullah Itam had requested them to help the villagers as much as they could.

He was also very supportive of the project and has also provided help in the form of manpower from the people of Melilas.

"But as scientists, the only thing that we can do is think of ideas, talked to minister and try to convince him of the things that can be done," she said.

Sg Ingei Faunal Biodiversity Survey's leader, Dr Joseph Charles echoed Dr Ang's sentiment.

"They are the stakeholders. We have got some many different ideas. We will recommend this idea to the government. The local people are the ones who suggested that we continue our project beyond Sg Ingei and go forward Kg Melilas. They asked us for help in protecting their wildlife in Melilas," he said.

"We have been keeping them in contact with the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources to see what best ways that all of us can help," Dr Charles added.

The Brunei Times

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