Tourists Contribute to Conservation Effort in Kinabatangan Corridor of Life
The money was the total amount collected from tourists since the inception of the Conservation Levy initiative in 2006 by WWF-Malaysia.
The national conservation organisation, upon realising the importance of conserving Kinabatangan, had initiated the Voluntary Conservation Levy (VCL) as part of effort to involve the tourism sector in restoring and rehabilitating the habitats and natural resources in Kinabatangan.
Under the VCL programme, participating lodges operating in and around the Lower Kinabatangan area invited their guests to voluntarily contribute RM20 (or USD 5) for conservation work. Tourists were encouraged to pay the levy upon checking out.
The participating lodges, comprising KiTA members, pooled together and channelled the monies collected into on-going or new conservation efforts in the Kinabatangan area. WWF-Malaysia was the custodian of the fund.
KiTA has nine members consisting of Abai Jungle Lodge, Barefoot Sukau Lodge, Bilit Adventure Lodge, Borneo Nature Lodge, Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge, Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, Proboscis Lodge Bukit Melapi, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, The Last Frontier Resort, and Uncle Tan Jungle Camp.
In January 2011, KiTA decided to improve the collection mechanism of the VCL programme and implemented the Compulsory Conservation Levy (CL) whereby KiTA members would contribute RM10 for every guest who purchased a tour package to KCoL. Similar to the VCL fund, the collection from the CL would be used for the conservation and protection of KCoL’s natural assets.
“The Conservation Levy initiative has broadened funding sources for conservation as well as promoted sustainable tourism in the KCoL area. Some KiTA members match guest contributions during peak months” said Executive Director/CEO of WWF-Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma.
“Through the VCL mechanism, we found that tourists are actually happy and ready to contribute to conservation. They want to see that the Kinabatangan’s reputation as a premium wildlife viewing region is sustained. Through the Conservation Levy initiative, we have created an avenue for responsible tourism to thrive,” said President of KiTA, Alexander Yee.
The levy collection is expected to increase with continuous and proactive support from lodge guests and operators. The money will be used to fund various ongoing conservation and community projects implemented by KiTA in the area, including tree planting, river clean-ups, building of waste disposal sites, conducting medical camps for local communities and hosting environmental education programmes.
“The collection will contribute immensely towards the conservation of the KCoL. WWF-Malaysia hopes to see this initiative replicated in other ecologically sensitive areas within the state and beyond. Conservation efforts require funding. We need to continuously explore new financing mechanism to broaden funding sources for conservation,” Dr. Dionysius said.
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WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia), the national conservation trust, currently runs more than 90 projects covering a diverse range of environmental protection work. Since 1972, WWF-Malaysia has worked on important conservation projects, from saving endangered species such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. We also undertake environmental education and advocacy work to achieve conservation goals. By conserving our natural resources, WWF-Malaysia is helping to protect our livelihoods, food and water supply, thus securing our good quality of life and our children’s bright future. We thank our supporters and members of the Media, whose contributions and support enable our conservation work. If you would like to donate to WWF-Malaysia or learn more about our projects, please call: +603-78033772 or visit: wwf.org.my or www.facebook.com/wwfmy
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by:
• Conserving the world’s biological diversity
• Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
• Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful production
For further information, please contact:
Kimberly Chung, Communications Officer
WWF-Malaysia (Sabah Office)
Tel: +6088 262 420 ext 37, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications
Tel: +603-78033772 ext 6400, Email: email@example.com
The tourism industry in the Kinabatangan-Corridor of Life (KCoL) is entirely dependent on both the environment and wildlife along the Kinabatangan River. This has been the prime conservation focus of KCoL ever since it was identified. However, without proper protection, a wide variety of flora & fauna will cease to exist and perish. With this purpose in mind, KiTA was established in 2008 by KCoL Tour Operators and WWF-Malaysia, and launched by the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister of Sabah.
To promote & implement a globally recognized sustainable tourism within the Kinabatangan-Corridor of Life that is beneficial for its People, the Planet and for Profit.
For more information on KiTA, kindly contact 010-9319447
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kitaborneo.org