On Saturday 29th January Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officially opened the Maliau Basin Studies Centre.
Situated on the edge of the Maliau Basin, 588.4 square kilometers of pristine forest in the heart of Sabah, the Maliau Basin Studies Centre is a fantastic resource for scientists and researchers to study the twelve different types of rainforest present in the area including primary Dipterocarp forest and lower montane forest. It will also act as a base for education and nature tourism in the area.
During the launch of the Studies Centre the PM expressed his wish for Maliau Basin to be recognised as a World Heritage Site. Datuk Najib said that such recognition from Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, will draw wideworld interest to the basin.
Also announced in the opening ceremony was a new scientific research project. The ten-year-long Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project will study the effects of deforestation as a consequence of oil palm plantations. A main aim of the study is to develop guidelines on how to design and manage oil-palm plantations to minimize their environmental impacts.
Scubazoo produced short films for both Yayasan Sabah and SAFE which were shown to guests and press at the launch event.