KUCHING: Danish experts are helping Sarawak to draw up management guidelines on limestone resources at the Niah National Park in northern Sarawak.
The Danish International Development Assistance/Support to Wildlife Masterplan Implementation Project technical adviser Julian Inglis said several dialogues had been held with the local communities and other interested parties on the need to conserve and enhance these limestone resources.
Speaking at a workshop on “Management of Sarawak’s Limestone Resources” here on Friday, Inglis said Niah represented, in one small area, virtually all of the values associated with limestone.
“It contains cultural records and evidence of climatic change unrivalled in Southeast Asia.”
“It has a long history of bird's nest harvesting, and contains a unique assemblage of plants and animals.”
Records show that the oldest human remains in Southeast Asia and many other relics of prehistoric man were found in the Niah Great Cave some 40,000 years ago.
Inglis, who is also the project chief, said it was vital that the limestone resources were managed systemically so as not to lose some of the most important cultural and natural assets.
State Secretary Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain, who opened the workshop, said limestone resources were valuable for their rich biodiversity, archaeological and climatic records and for tourism.
As most of these resources were under the protection of the national parks, he said the government had taken steps to preserve these heritages.
Aziz said limestone had a high economic value as construction material, and that in some cave formations, it was a source of valuable edible bird's nests.
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