KOTA KINABALU: A mangrove area here, one of only two wetlands in the world located within a city, is due to get an international recognition by mid 2016.
The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands is expected to be accorded the Ramsar site status in about three to four months, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.
He said the ministry was in the final stages of getting the 24ha conservation area at Likas listed as the country’s seventh Ramsar site.
(Since 2013, the Sabah government had approved a bid for the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands to be listed as a Ramsar site - wetlands deemed important for their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational values based on the Ramsar Convention.)
Wan Junaidi said the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands was unique as it is the only one in the world apart from the one in Tokyo that was located within city limits.
“I am amazed that the mangrove is just 15 minute's drive from the downtown area,” he said after launching the World Wetlands Day celebrations at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands on Saturday.
The other Ramsar sites in the country are located in Tasek Bera in Pahang, Tanjung Piai, Pulau Kukup and Sungai Pulai in Johor, the Kuching Wetland National Park in Sarawak and the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands in Sabah.
Due to the area’s importance, Wan Junaidi said his ministry would provide RM750,000 for development and repairs of facilities at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands in addition to the RM500,000 funding from the Sabah government.