BAU: Destructive activities for the sake of a quick buck are strictly not welcomed in the jungles of Bung Jagoi.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk James Dawos yesterday advised folks in Jagoi to apply for the area to be gazetted under the state’s National Park and Nature Reserves Ordinance to protect the nearby forest within the 400 hectare area from irresponsible intrusion.
“Places like this have so much natural attraction and sometimes some people see this place as an opportunity to make quick profits. Cutting trees here and there and forest license are issued…we do not want things like that,” Dawos said.
He said this after he participated in the Gawea Baruk celebrations at Bung Jagoi near Kampung Duyoh yesterday.
Dawos further suggested that the government flex its authority to gazette the area as a conservation area if the application by Jagoi folks does not follow through.
“In Section 6 of the Natural Resources and Environment Ordinance, it is stated that the government can gazette an area as a conservation area and therefore under the legislation, we can gazette this area (Bung Jagoi) so that we can secure it from intrusion,” he said.
Also present were Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong and DBNA president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.
Manyin is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication and Ik Pahon is also Ministry of Tourism permanent secretary.
According to a statement from the Mount Jagoi Conservation Project group, Bung Jagoi is an ancestral village of Jagoi ethnic of the Bidayuhs in Bau.
“Only 13 out of 34 original houses along with the ceremonial centre, though dilapidated, are the only reminder of the rich and glorious past of the Jagoi Bidayuh culture as most had moved to the eight villages downhill,” the statement said.
It added that the surrounding areas are experiencing fast development including extensive land developnent mainly cultivated with oil palm.
“Some are enroaching the hillsides, The on-going prospecting activities for quarrying, sand extraction and minerals in the area including at the foothills and the mountain slopes are major threats to this community forests,” it added.
Mount Jagoi Conservation Project group is initiated by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation and Jagoi Area Development Committee.
Their efforts are supported by Ministry of Tourism, Shell Malaysia and Small Grants Programmes under the Global Environmental Facility of the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
The group added that apart from conserving the forest and biodiversity, it wishes to rehabilitate the area and to establish tourism related infrastructure.