KOTA BELUD: The Sabah Parks (TTS) has issued occupation permits to 47 villagers of Kampung Mantanau, near here, which will enable them to use the protected land for agricultural activities, said TTS board of trustees chairman Datuk Seri Dr Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood.
He said the villagers were also given the opportunity to use the natural resources available on the 121ha site on Kinabalu Park to promote eco-tourism activities to help boost economic growth and income.
He added that this was the first time the permit was issued and the village community had from the start given their cooperation in conducting surveys on the land to identify if the land was within the park area.
“The understanding and cooperation between TTS and the Kampung Mantanau community has created a symbiotic relationship and a win-win situation. We are able to develop the land (within the park) and at the same time conserve the area,” he told Bernama after handing over the permits here.
Tengku Zainal Adlin said with the move, permit holders will benefit as they are given the rights to occupy and cultivate the permitted area and the permit can be passed on to their immediate family.
He added that permit holders are also eligible for agricultural subsidies and will not be subjected to any legal action as long as they comply with the rules and conditions.
For the TTS management, he said, control and protection of the park area will be more effective as the community will only work on the permitted area and will no longer encroach onto other areas.
Meanwhile, TTS director Dr Jamili Nais said granting the permit is the best way to resolve conflicts over land use from overlapping rights which had been identified in 13 areas, including in Kampung Mantanau as discovered by a qualified surveyor some 22 years ago.