SANDAKAN: The unique species of plants and the pedestrian tree canopy attracts tourists from home and abroad to visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) in Sepilok, near here.
Chief coordinator of RDC’s Environmental Education, Bernadette D. Joeman said 12,090 people, comprising 6,623 Malaysians, 5,001 foreigners and 466 visitors visited the centre in the first five months of this year.
Last year, a total of 31,894 people visited the RDC, comprising 17,729 (Malaysians), 13,530 (foreigners) and 635 (who entered without payment).
“RDC continues to receive a 4.5-star certificate of excellence for four years in a row from Tripadvisor.com. This is a positive sign portraying the RDC as an attractive natural environment recommended by visitors,” she told Bernama.
RDC set up by the Sabah Forestry Department and inaugurated by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in August 2007, houses all types of tropical rainforests’ collections from around the world.
Bernadette said that at present there are four main buildings at RDC, namely the office, the rainforest heritage exhibition centre, environmental education activities hall, Keruing Cafe and Kabili Theatre.
She said the 100-m long canopy walkway would be extended to connect between the tower and the construction of an outdoor theatre hall with a capacity for 600 people,
This will be executed under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).
RDC is located in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve which is also home to the famous Orang Utan Sanctuary and the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok.
She said the RDC is now also looked upon as a centre for environmental education in which the Environmental Education Race Programme is held every two years.
The 17th edition, involving students, teachers and school principals will be held this year.
RDC is open to the public every day including public holidays from 8am to 5pm. Admission fee for Malaysians is for adults (RM7), for those aged 5-17 years (RM3) and free for children under five years old. For non-Malaysians, adults (RM15), 5-17 years (RM7) and free for those under five years old. – Bernama