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Saturday May 8, 2010

UMS to have a 6ha botanical garden in its campus

KOTA KINABALU: Tourists to Sabah may have yet another attraction in this city to visit if things go according to Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) plans to adopt a ‘University in a Garden’ concept at its campus.

Kamaruzaman: We want to retain the campus greenery alongside our efforts to develop an intellectual world.

Its vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon said the university would create a 6ha botanical garden to make the campus one of the most beautiful in Malaysia.

More importantly, he said, the UMS Botanical Garden would become a learning and reference centre on botany, ecology, phenology, ethnobotany, and flora and fauna biology.

In addition, trees lining roads within the campus would be rearranged according to the plan outlined in the UMS Landscape Policy.

“Previously we did not have a clear guideline on the landscape, but with the landscape policy we want to transform UMS into a university-in-a-garden, surrounded by forest and lush environment.

“We want to retain the campus greenery alongside our efforts to develop an intellectual world, and if possible, we would like UMS to become a tourist attraction too,” Prof Kamaruzaman told reporters after launching the UMS Botanical Garden at its main campus in Likas, here.

He said the botanical garden would be developed in stages.

In future: The full effect of the garden at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) can be enjoyed in 20 to 30 years time.

The university, through the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation, would plant a collection of rare forest trees such as ironwood, shorea and putat.

“More trees and plants will be added to the garden including plants from the islands of Borneo. However, the full effect of the garden will only be enjoyed in 20 to 30 years’ time, by the future generation,” he said.

He said that besides acting as a collection centre for plants, the garden located on the UMS hill peak would also be a recreational area complete with a pavilion overlooking the Kota Kinabalu city, Teluk Sepanggar and the Crocker range.

He added that the botanical garden would be open to the public when it was fully developed. — BERNAMA

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