Other than the iconic species like orangutan and rafflesia, the potential of other wildlife species for ecotourism development in Sarawak can and should be further explored.
Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s (SFC) Chief Executive Officer, Wong Ting Chung said this at the opening of the 6th International Bornean Frog Race at Gunung Gading National Park on Apr 29.
According to Wong, “We have a multiplicity of herpeto-species (lizards, snakes and frogs) richly endowed with the said potential. It has not surprised the organisers that this event has become an annual event of the state’s tourism calendar and a good example of how we may build up or cater to a ‘niche market’ for ecotourism.”
Professor Dr. Gabriel Tonga Noweg, Director of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), also spoke at the event. Tonga in his speech briefed on the objectives of the ‘Frog Race’, which are to educate the public on the need for environmental conservation, to promote the event as an outdoor activity for local and foreign tourists as well as to draw public attention to the threats against sustainable frog populations in the State.
This 6th edition of the International Bornean Frog Race saw the attendance of more than 200 participants from 18 participating countries including Australia, Singapore, Korea and India.
The ‘race’ is held on the last weekend of April every year in conjunction with ‘Save the Frogs Day’.
The event which is listed on the tourism calendar of events of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak and that of Tourism Malaysia is jointly organised by SFC and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Activities conducted during the 1 ½ day programme included workshops, talks, exhibitions, the highlight being the ‘Frog Race’, in which participants compete to win prizes in various categories of the race, namely Most Number of Amphibian Species Photographed, Rarest Amphibian Photographed, Best Photo Taken with: DSLR Camera, Compact Camera or Mobile Phone
Gunung Gading National Park is best known to host the world’s largest flower of which visitors from the world over flock to view the Rafflesia’s spectacular blooms.
Other attractions at the National Park include its rainforest scenery, waterfalls and the jungle trails which lead to the peak of Gunung Gading.