LIMBANG: Sarawak government’s move to gazette Kuala Lawas as a national park last year is a step in the right direction to rehabilitate, preserve and protect marine resources, forest habitat and the environment from becoming endangered and extinct.
Limbang Division Forest Officer Michael Ngelai said Lawas National Park which covers 13,981 hectares including the Gulf of Brunei occupies 60 per cent of the 20-kilometre coastal estuary, mostly covered by mangrove forest.
“Kuala Lawas National Park boasts rich biodiversity in marine resources like sea grass which is a major food source for dugongs and turtles, both totally protected species in Sarawak.
“By gazetting Kuala Lawas as a marine resources national park, forest and marine habitats and the environment can be protected,” he said at a briefing session on the establishment of Lawas National Park to stakeholders in Limbang District here yesterday.
Also present were Fisheries Department’s head of resources protection unit, Dokanaer Kasto Muning and Aswari Rakawi who represented the Limbang Resident.
Besides the sea grass, Kuala Lawas National Park has many other totally protected and endangered species like the Pacific reef igret, black shoulder eagle and kingfisher, he said.
“In fact, the area too has 60 fish species from 35 economically important families,” he said
adding that Kuala Lawas has potential to be marine tourism destination for activities like diving, snorkeling and bird watching.
Earlier, Dokanaer said marine resources and forest habitat in the park should be preserved so that future generation too can enjoy the rich biodiversity there.
“It is also the responsibility of the public to take care of the area based on relevant laws,” he said.