KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Wildlife Department must step up its intelligence gathering to fight crimes against wildlife, says Datuk Christina Liew.
The state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister said the department's intelligence unit was set up and empowered in 2022 and they should now focus on addressing criminal issues against wildlife.
"Such efforts are important towards wildlife conservation in Sabah," she said in her keynote address at the ministry's Outstanding Service Awards (APC) here.
She also urged the department to improve the facilities at the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary (BES) in Kinabatangan.
Liew was referring to the need for upkeep of the sanctuary which was set up as a refuge for endangered elephants that were rescued or injured due to human-elephant conflict in 2013.
More importantly, Liew said the department should focus on minimising human-wildlife conflict.
"This includes setting up of an elephant task force in the districts concerned and the creation of a passage corridor for wildlife, particularly elephants, to remain in their habitat without encroaching into human settlements, are among the recommended immediate measures," she said.
Liew also asked Sabah Parks to immediately implement its flagship project by building the High Altitude Training Centre atop Mount Kinabalu.
There is also a need for the facilities in the Parks to be upgraded, she said.
Liew said that the declaration of Geopark Global Kinabalu was expected to take place during the Unesco General Assembly in April this year.
This declaration, she said, will add to Unesco-owned 'Triple Crown' prestigious sites in Sabah, namely Kinabalu World Heritage Site and Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve.
Liew reminded departments and agencies under her ministry to continue maintaining the environment by carrying out sustainable practices in efforts to promote community-based tourism.