Monday, September 23

Join the Santubong Nature Festival

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NATURAL JEWEL: Mount Santubong looks majestic from Kampung Santubong.

GREENING EFFORTS: Students plant trees at SMK Santubong.

SERENE SCENE: The Scenic Pantai Puteri in Kampung Santubong.

DO you wish to know more about the beauty, heritage and uniqueness of Santubong? Do you care about Santubong? Do you want to have a part in ensuring that Santubong is well-taken care of? Do you wish to have a fun-filled weekend?

If you answer “Yes” to one of these questions, then make a beeline to the coming Santubong Nature Festival.

The two-day festival will take place at Permai Rainforest Resort and Damai Central next Saturday and Sunday (Nov 9-10).

There is something for everyone at the festival. From nature talks to eco-fashion, easy hikes at archaeological sites and adrenaline pumping treasure hunt around Santubong, the festival promises to be a fun-filled and informative weekend for all.

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch (MNSKB) is co-organising the festival with Permai Rainforest Resort, with support from Friends of Sarawak Museum, Sarawak Heritage Society, Sarawak Museum Department, Damai Central, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Trienekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd and Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam).

The objectives of this event are:

  •  To raise public awareness of the priceless natural and historical – local and global – heritage value of the Santubong Peninsula.
  •  To advocate for a holistic and integrated approach to development and management of the area safeguarding its unique landscape, biodiversity and historical assets.
  •  To showcase the tourism and recreational potential of the natural and cultural values of the Santubong Peninsula.
  •  To stimulate reflection on responsible and sustainable further management of the peninsula and its surroundings.
  •  To create environmental awareness and value among our public especially our young ones.

MNSKB has been carrying out many activities, particularly bird-watching, in the Santubong peninsula for many years since it was set up in 1996.

These regular bird-watching activities eventually resulted in Bako Buntal Bay, which is part of the Santubong Peninsula, being placed on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network last year. Bako-Buntal Bay is the first flyway network established in Malaysia and one of the world’s Important Bird Areas.

In 2002, MNSKB held a major clean-up at Gunung Santubong from the foothills to the peak and volunteers collected 1.2 tonnes of rubbish. MNSKB, as a local environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO), is very concerned with the overall development and well-being of Santubong Peninsula. It recognises the need to develop the area but that development should be well-planned so that it would not degrade the iconic mountain.

Land clearing for housing, tall buildings and a proposed cable car to the peak of the mountain could alter the landscape and scar Santubong’s aesthetic visual value if not properly planned. These changes without sensitivity to historical and archaeological considerations could also produce many irreversible problems.

It is hoped that the Santubong Nature Festival will help to address these through greater public awareness and eventually advocate for a holistic, sustainable and integrated approach to development and management of the area.

For a detailed schedule of the festival, visit http://santubongnaturefestival.blogspot.com or the Santubong Nature Festival Facebook page.