Batu Lintang rep urges Sarawak to re-submit nomination for Mulu National Park to upgrade Unesco heritage label

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, May 19 — Batu Lintang State Assemblyman See Chee How today urged the Sarawak government to re-submit a nomination for Gunung Mulu National Park (GMNP) — which is already in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) World Heritage Site list — to be recognised with a Universal Outstanding Value label.

He said the nomination should mention the role indigenous peoples living in and around GMNP since time immemorial have played in maintaining the integrity of this rainforest ecosystem, which is a criterion to be recognised for the Universal Outstanding Value.

“However, at some point during the drafting and submission process, this criterion was dropped and removed from the final Malaysian submission,” See said during the debate on the opening address of the state assembly sitting.

He said there are 1,154 properties which are being listed as World Heritage Sites around the world, but only 14 of them are recognised as outstanding examples of traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of cultures or human interaction with the environment.

“The most outstanding and significant sites on the list are the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia, the Wadi Rum Protected Area in Jordan and the Laponian Area of Sweden. However, none of these 14 sites are parallel to what GMNP can offer,” said See, who is also an environmentalist.

He also expressed his gratitude that Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg had revoked the leases of two oil palm plantations adjacent to GMNP after the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Unesco World Heritage Committee notified the state government of the threat they pose.