CONSERVATION OF ENVIRONMENT must GO HAND-IN-HAND WITH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - ONGKILI

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KOTA MARUDU, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Physical and economic development would be

hollow if it does not go hand-in-hand with emphasis on conservation and

protection of the environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk

Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said.

He said that appreciation of the environment must also be a priority and a

part of life for all Malaysians in the nation’s quest to become a developed

nation by 2020.

Ongkili, who is also Member of Parliament for Kota Marudu, said that there

need to be societal awareness on environmental issues so that everyone can

work together to protect the environment and eco-system which also has an impact

on people’s lives.

"Phenomenon like flood, which has become a yearly occurrence in Kota Marudu,

could be a man-made problem due to illegal logging, for instance in the

past. Destructive fishing methods such as using bombs can cause a decline in the

marine resources.

"We need to be aware that our actions can disrupt the eco-system, leading to

a chain reaction that affects ourselves," he said after handing out funds to

to 26 secondary schools, primary schools and NGOs from the Kota Marudu

constituency, to conduct environmental conservation and awareness programmes.

-- MORE

ONGKILI-ENVIRONMENT 2 (LAST) KOTA MARUDU

He said that the Marudu Bay was rich in biodiversity, mangrove swamps and

marine resources which could contribute to enhanced economic activities for Kota

Marudu through eco-tourism and fishing activities.

Marudu Bay covers Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu districts right up to Pulau

Banggi. Its valuable resources have been recognized and Marudu Bay is part of

the five country continental shelf and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral

Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, as well as part of the proposed one million

hectare Tun Mustapha marine park in northern Sabah.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is also funding studies

conducted with Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and

Universiti Malaysia Sabah to develop, conserve and manage the bay while

identifying sustainable economic activities, he added.

"MOSTI is initiating these scientific studies to ensure that the rich

resources are protected and also utilised for economic activities through

sustainable development. But these efforts must involve the people who must be

aware of the need to protect and conserve the environment and natural

resources," he said.

Ongkili added that one way to promote the awareness of environmental

protection was through schools where the young are taught to appreciate the

environment.

-- BERNAMA

NT JRL

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