KOTA KINABALU (20 SEPTEMBER): The Sabah Parks Young Ranger programme is hoped to be able to raise awareness on the importance of looking after Sabah’s nature treasures among the younger generation.
It is hoped that through the programme, the younger generation will continue efforts to conserve nature, said Sabah Parks Board of Trustees deputy chairman Peter Lintar.
The educational programme themed “Sea Exploration” was jointly organised by the Sabah Parks and the Sabah Education Department, and supported by the Sabah Environmental Education Network (SEEN).
Peter commended the cooperation between the departments, citing that it mirrored the commitment to continue educating and ensuring the younger generation, in particular, school pupils in Sabah, can continue conservation efforts of the natural environment in the future.
A total of 72 pupils from 15 schools at seven districts in Sabah took part in the programme, which included visiting the mangrove forest in Pulau Gaya.
The schools were SK Selupoh (Tuaran), SK Serusup(Tuaran), SK Babagon (Penampang), SK Beringis (Papar), SK Kundasang (Ranau), SK Lohan (Ranau), SK Sri Gaya (Kota Kinabalu), SK Sacred Heart (Kota Kinabalu), SK Mutiara (Kota Kinabalu), SK Malawa (Kota Kinabalu), SK Kem Lok Kawi (Penampang), SK Kelawat (Kota Belud), SK Kg. Brunei (Beaufort), SMK Pekan Telipok (Tuaran) and SMK All Saint (Kota Kinabalu).
Peter told the participants that they were lucky to have sea treasures at the marine protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which houses five islands and is the nearest to Kota Kinabalu.
He also explained that as the park is the destination of tourists, it is exposed to antropogenic (human based) pollution and destructions.
“Hence, the awareness to look after the sustainability and wellbeing of the sea and beaches must be raised,” he said at the event held at Pulau Manukan on Tuesday.
He added that one of the means to do this was through the Sabah Parks Young Ranger programme.
“The Sabah Parks has made careful planning in arranging the activities for the two days and the aim of the programme is to allow the Sabah Parks Young Rangers to use all their senses to enjoy the sea treasures and learn about the marine ecosystem and the importance to look after Sabah’s nature treasure,” he said.
He also reminded that the knowledge they acquire may not be available in their classrooms and as Sabah Parks Young Rangers, their role is to raise awareness on the importance of looking after nature treasures in Sabah.
Sabah Parks director Dr Maklarin Lakim said that Sabah Parks have begun to carry out educational programmes on nature since 1979 through the screening of pictures, talks and exhibits which are held at villages and schools that are near to the park’s borders.
He was represented by Sabah Parks Deputy Director (Management, Operation and International Communication), Ludi Apin.
He said that the aim of the educational programme at Sabah Parks was to raise the public awareness, especially the young generation, on the importance of looking after nature.
And in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sabah Parks started organising online educational programmes, he said.
“After we entered the endemic era of Covid-19, we were allowed to carry out educational activities physically. To continue with the Sabah Parks Young Ranger programmes as before, we again organised this programme at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Kota Kinabalu which carries the theme ‘Sea Explorers’ to allow the school children to study and enjoy the nature at the oldest marine park in Malaysia,” he said.