KOTA KINABALU: A firefly information centre was recently launched in Bongawan, known to be a popular spot for firefly watching among locals and foreign tourists.
Initiated by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in collaboration with Persatuan Belia Inspirasi Kinabalu and supported by Seri Serbang homestay, the centre is believed to be the first of such facilities in the state dedicated to promoting ecotourism.
According to UMS, the project was made possible through the grant from Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
“Located at Pantai Kenangan Muara, it is the first such information centre in Sabah and is expected to be the newest attraction and one-stop centre for tourists,” said the university in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 17).
UMS added that the project was part of the ‘Empowering Youth in Boosting Sustainable River-based Tourism in Papar and Beaufort 2020-2022’ programme.
“Firefly attraction is considered an important asset for river-based tourism here.
“It is also hoped to elevate the potential of youths in working towards making nature-based tourism products successful,” said the project research head and UMS lecturer Yuzainy Janin.
Yuzainy, who led six other researchers for the project, said the centre would not only provide data about fireflies, but also channel information on the river ecosystem.
“We also welcome cooperation from research centres, whether public or private sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations in enriching and adding descriptions in the centre.
“At the same time, conservation of fireflies habitat is a collective effort that needs cooperation from all parties,” he said.