Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sarawak to limit number of new eco-tourism projects

Sarawak has imposed stringent measures and restrictions to limit the number of new eco-tourism resort projects to protect its jungles.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said they had now made it “extremely difficult” for developers to obtain licences to built tourist resorts and hotels in such areas.

“We have received many applications for such projects but we have rejected them.

“Only projects with minimal impact to the ecosystem will be considered,” he said.

He said the state government was keen at preserving the forest and “to keep it as natural as possible.”

He said this during a tour to the Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort, 65km south of here.

“Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, in his capacity as the State Minister for Planning and Resources Management, had asked for such tougher measures to be implemented as he was worried that such projects could fall into the hands of incompetent developers,” he added.

Dr Chan, who is State Agriculture Modernisation Minister and State Industrial Development Minister, said: “We don’t want people to open up such resorts and end up bringing the city into the jungles.”

In his visit to the resort, he praised the development for having minimal impact on the ecosystem.

“The resort uses as lot of natural products for its infrastructure and its construction involved minimal impact to the environment. They managed to preserve the natural habitat and biodiversity of the area,” he said.

The resort, which has a size of 2,000 football fields, will be opened next year.

It offers night safaris, orchard visits and farm tours as part of its attractions.

Source : STAR
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