KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s collection of three Unesco crowns will draw more visitors to Malaysia, says a British natural history publisher.
John Beaufoy, an avid wildlife enthusiast, has hailed the state’s extraordinary triple-crown achievement as a powerful catalyst poised to rekindle a profound fascination with the state’s exceptional wildlife.
Beaufoy believed this would not only deepen the world’s appreciation for Sabah’s ecological wonders but also issue a captivating call to a global audience to explore the region’s rich biodiversity.
“I’ve had the privilege of visiting Sabah multiple times over the past 25 years. With its newfound Unesco triple-crown status, I firmly believe it will elevate Sabah, especially Kinabalu Park, to the pinnacle of wildlife history destinations,” he said.
Beaufoy shared his reflections following the unveiling of Sabah’s Kinabalu Unesco Global Geopark during the World Travel Market 2023 at Excel London on Monday (Nov 6).
Sabah achieved triple-crown status after Unesco recognised the Kinabalu National Geopark as a Global Geopark in May this year.
The Kinabalu Unesco Global Geopark sprawls over 4,750 sq km and covers the districts of Ranau, Kota Marudu and Kota Belud. It is also home to numerous rural villages.
This achievement has made Sabah the third destination in the world to attain this coveted triple crown, following Shennongjia in China and Jeju Island in Korea.
Sabah’s other two Unesco “crowns” are the Kinabalu Park, designated a World Heritage Site in December 2000, and the Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve, declared in June 2014.
Also present at the launch was Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Datuk Zakri Jaafar.
At the same time, they also launched a bird guidebook titled “A Naturalist’s Guide to Borneo’s Birds (4th edition)”, authored by Sabah’s Wong Tsu Shi and published by John Beaufoy Publishing.
Zakri said this latest Unesco recognition extends its impact beyond Sabah, encompassing Malaysia.
He added the recognition would undoubtedly elevate the global status of both Sabah and Malaysia, positioning them at the forefront of international recognition and appreciation.
Beaufoy said Sabah has already drawn many UK wildlife enthusiasts eager to explore the state’s diverse wildlife, from birds to butterflies and mammals.
The Unesco Global Geopark status, he believed, would act as a strong magnet, encouraging even more wildlife enthusiasts to consider Malaysia a premier destination for wildlife watching.