LAHAD DATU: Malaysia has taken another step towards better understanding of global environmental problems with the setting up of its Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) station at the internationally renowned Danum Valley rainforest centre near here.
The station, the second of its kind in South-East Asia after one in Sumatra, and the 23rd such centre worldwide, will provide Malaysia with long-term, reliable, high-quality data and information on the environment to help formulate national and international policies on global changes.
Science, Technology and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Law Hieng Ding said the handover of the station to the Malaysian Meteorological Services by the Public Works Department yesterday was a proud moment for Malaysia.
The GAW station is a product of national effort, funded nationally and dedicated to acquiring a better understanding of environmental issues like climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, trans-boundary haze and acid deposition, he said.
Law said the reasons behind the slow pace of global environment change research in developing countries included a lack of resources and experts.
The minister said that even before the completion of the station, there had been interest in the international scientific community in monitoring and research activities.
He said the station was part of a World Meteorological Organisation programme focusing on measuring chemicals in the atmosphere.
The station, built at a cost of RM1mil in co-operation with Yayasan Sabah, which manages the Danum Valley rainforest research station, will be fully operational once a 100m tower is completed by the end of this year.
It will be the highest instrumented tower in Borneo, said Law.
Several collaborative research projects involving Malaysian scientists and international experts from Japan, Britain, Sweden, Australia and Singapore, are also planned.
During the handover ceremony, Law also launched a book, Weather and Climate of Malaysia, written by meteorologists Lim Joo Tick and Azizan Abu Samah.