KUCHING: The state will play host to the 7th International Hornbill Conference, which will be held from May 16-18 next year at Riverside Majestic Hotel here.
According to Deputy State Secretary Datu Ose Murang, Sarawak made a bid for the conference when it was held in Manila in 2013 and was successful with the bid.
“We are expecting around 300 participants, both international and Malaysians. The success of the conference will help in our state’s hornbill conservation efforts.
“With the theme of ‘Hornbills: Fly Free Fly High’, we hope that someday we can increase the population of hornbills in the state. When they are conserved and not hunted, they can fly anywhere. It can be seen as representing the dreams of Sarawakians in achieving their visions,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The 7th International Hornbill Conference is jointly organised by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Sarawak Convention Bureau.The conference is to discuss current status, future trends and challenges pertaining to the conservation of hornbills.
In the build-up to the international conference, a national conference was held for the first time last year in Miri.
Ose pointed out that hornbills have a significant role in Sarawak, being the Land of the Hornbills.
“It is an iconic part of our Culture, Adventure and Nature (CAN) tourism. As the Land of the Hornbills, we must make effort to conserve as well as to ensure their population grows. We hope that one day, we can easily see hornbills flying even in Kuching, and when tourists come, we can direct them to a place to see the hornbills,” he said.
Also during the press conference, SFC deputy general manager Oswald Braken Tisen explained about the eight different species of hornbills that can be found in the state.
The eight species are Helmeted Hornbill, which is facing an issue of cross-border poaching; Rhinoceros Hornbill, with about 10 individual birds been recorded in Santubong National Park recently; Wrinkled Hornbill; Wreathed Hornbill; White-crowned Hornbill; Bushy Crested Hornbill; Oriental Pied Hornbill; and Black Hornbill.
For more information about the 7th International Hornbill Conference, check out its official website at www.international hornbill conference2017.com.