Sustainable and Attainable – Responsible tourism in Sabah
RESPONSIBLE ELEPHANT CONSERVATION TRUST (RESPECT)
It is of great value to the tourism industry in Sabah that Intrepid Travel, a B Corps certified company, has an operations office right here. B Corp businesses center around creating mutual benefits for both stakeholders and shareholders. They echo practices of having verified social and environmental performance standards, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Taking social responsibility to the next level, B Corp companies similar to Intrepid Travel ensure overall best management practices for staff welfare and an inclusive supply chain. RESPonsible Elephant Conservation Trust (RESPECT) is now a foundation partner through the Intrepid Foundation. RESPECT addresses issues by creating and managing large-scale habitats to protect the elephants by engaging the local community in habitat conservation, which covers Telupid near the Tawai Forest Reserve in Sabah. With Intrepid Travel taking many travellers through Sabah, they take the opportunity to educate guests on this conservation initiative. Indeed, the Borneo pygmy elephant is often considered one of the ‘Big Five’ to see and those fortunate enough to see these majestic animals in the wild often describe it as a highlight of their trip.
To our fellow industry players, if you have any initiatives that you would like to highlight, please contact our Communications team: email@example.com.
FEATURED IN OCTOBER
SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES IN BORNEO RAINFOREST LODGE
Nestled strategically along the Danum River, approximately 10 kilometres to the northwest of Danum Valley Conservation Area, lies Borneo Rainforest Lodge. But this is no ordinary retreat; it’s a portal to a world unlike any other. Imagine it: you’re cocooned within the embrace of a primordial rainforest, a living testament to millions of years of wild history. Here, nature’s most extraordinary dramas unfold, featuring a star-studded cast of Borneo’s most iconic and endangered species.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN SEPTEMBER
TURTLE ISLANDS PARK
40 kilometers to the north of Sandakan is the Turtle Islands Park.Three small islands—Selingan, Gulisan, and Bakungan Kecil—make up the park. It encompasses the nearby reefs and oceans and spans 1,740 hectares. This park is particularly notable for its two species of turtles: green and hawksbill. They come ashore at night to lay their eggs all year round. Every one of the three islands has hatcheries. The islands offer many attractions than only sea turtles. It’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving because of the crystal-clear, turquoise sea and coral reefs. The Island Flying Fox is another fascinating guest of the islands during fruit tree season. In 1977, the islands were turned into a marine park. On all three islands, employees live to protect the park.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN AUGUST
SEPILOK ORANG UTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE
The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC) was established in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans. It has since grown from having just an outdoor platform to having an Outdoor Nursery viewing area. It is located within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, making the area suitable for trekking and birding.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN JULY
SABAH’S SUSTAINABLE FARM-TO-TABLE GASTRONOMY
As the sun begins to rise over the lush landscapes of Sabah, a vibrant farm-to-table movement takes root. Restaurants in this gastronomic destination embrace the bounty of the land and sea, building links between farmers and food lovers.
Farm-to-table restaurants in Sabah provide patrons with more than simply a meal. They paint a tale about the state’s agricultural landscape and bring the flavour of the land directly to the dining room. By supporting and visiting these establishments, people embark on a journey of flavours and sustainability.
Farm-to-table dining is on the rise in Sabah. It has an air of exclusivity about it because there are so few farm-to-table restaurants. Supporting these restaurants means enjoying the freshest ingredients, the most brilliant flavours, and the understanding that one is helping to preserve Sabah’s natural heritage.
Here are five places where you can try farm-fresh food while also witnessing the enthusiasm and dedication of local farmers first-hand.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN JUNE
ADEX SABAH OCEAN PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT 2023
Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development ADEX SABAH OCEAN PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT 2023 will feature global experts and trailblazers from across the globe to discuss and explore diving disciplines, ocean conservation and sustainability while offering the opportunity to connect, network and throw yourself in the deep end, exposing your work, whether you are in the diving industry, tourism industry, resort or liveaboard world, photography or education.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN MAY
INTERNATIONAL SUN BEAR DAY
Did you know that Sabah, Malaysia is home to the one and only sun bear conservation centre in the world? The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) has made great strides in protecting one of the world’s most distinctive and vulnerable species – the Bornean sun bear, the population of which is dwindling.
Since 2014, this organization has become a beacon of hope for the future of these fascinating creatures through its innovative approach to conservation. In this interview, we talk to Dr. Wong Siew Te, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BSBCC, about their day-to-day work, their initiatives, and how their work is helping communities.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN APRIL
CONSERVE LAND FOR WILDLIFE HABITAT: BORNEO LAND CONSERVANCY
Kinabatangan Floodplain which covers the 30,000 ha Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is considered by many to be one of the biodiversity hotspots in Borneo with a great abundance of wildlife’s including mega faunas like orangutan, proboscis monkeys, Borneo pygmy elephants and riverine crocodile among others. The 30,000 ha of Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary which was gazetted was originally proposed to be double in size at 60,000 ha but the pressure was just too great that finally only 30,000 ha was gazetted divided into ten lots which was not a contiguous piece with many gaps in between leaving it hard for elephants and other wildlife to move freely between them.
Read more here.
FEATURED IN MARCH
OCEAN GOLF, A NEW EXPERIENCE AT SHANGRI-LA RASA RIA, KOTA KINABALU
Shangri-La Rasa Ria is a pioneer in sustainability within the tourism industry in Sabah. Introducing the new Eco-Bio-Ball and brought uniqueness into the experience tourism industry. The golf balls are 100 percent safe with non-contaminating materials and certified as biodegradable and non-toxic products. Once it hits the sea, the outer layer dissolves in a few hours to release fish food kept inside. Within 48 hours of hitting the seawater, marine life can start feasting on the food. After 28 days, the balls biodegrade entirely. Perfect for improving golf swing at the beach while enjoying the beautiful sunsets of Rasa Ria. Find out more on how you could include a visit to Shangri-la Rasa Ria during your stay in Sabah. Read more here.
FEATURED IN FEBRUARY
MARINE ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER
MERC, also known as Marine Ecology Research Centre, is located at Malohom Bay of Gaya Island which is an approximately 20-minute boat ride from the mainland of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital city. MERC is the first in Malaysia that has successfully produced all seven species of giant clams found in Malaysian waters. Find out more on how you could include a visit to MERC during your stay in Sabah.
“Along the years, as new tourism products have developed, the concept of sustainability has been the core of each idea and perhaps this is the reason why our Community Based Tourism (CoBT) initiatives are doing so well.
With the growing of CoBT products, it is our hope that the community will rally around one another to offer first-rate services, thereby bolstering the state’s rural tourism and making it more globally competitive.”
Datuk Joniston Bangkuai,
Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board and
Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah
“In fact, several of our Tourism products, started off from conservation purposes in the likes of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilation Centre, Selingan Turtles islands and Kinabalu Park.”
Chief Executive Officer of Sabah Tourism Board
In tandem with the State of Sabah’s goals of Sabah Maju Jaya, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been part of its direction. At Sabah Tourism, as we continue to enthusiastically promote our destination to the world, to welcome travelers to experience our Enchanting Sabah, it is equally crucial to highlight sustainable efforts being done by the destination.
Sabah Tourism collaborated with local videographers to produce stories on how several tourism players were already incorporating sustainability in their business. Their stories can be view on YouTube.
#SabahOKBah focused on highlighting sustainably developed products by local crafters which were available in Kadaiku it provided an opportunity to showcase other possible souvenirs besides our handicraft.
IN THE OFFICE
REFILL MY BOTTLE
This was introduced in 2018 to encourage both staff and visitors to the office to bring a reusable bottle that they can have refilled. Sabah Tourism Board’s office also serves as a tourist information center to the public.
100 MILLION TREE-PLANTING CAMPAIGN
In collaboration with the Sabah Forestry Department, STB conducted a two-day tree-planting program under the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign (Greening Malaysian Campaign) on 21 and 22 May 2022 at the Tamparuli Forest Reserve. A total of 230 trees were planted with 65 Sabah Tourism Board staff involved.