Friday, 5 August 2011

Crocker Range Park

  The Crocker Range National Park (CRNP) is situated in the Crocker Range, Sabah. Crocker Range was designated to be a forest reserve in 1968. CRNP was then established in 1984 to protect the water catchments area that is supplying clean drinking water to the West Coast and the interior of Sabah. It was then renamed to Taman Banjaran Crocker (Crocker Range Park) in 1996 and managed by the Sabah Parks.Additionally the rising concern to protect its rich biodiversity and rare species of flora and fauna inhabiting these forest areas had been the prime mover in the initiative to gazette it as a National Park. The Park is surrounded by numerous settlements of the Kadazandusun and Murut communities harbouring moderately fast growing population practicing mainly shifting agriculture.

     The CRNP is situated in the world’s third largest island, Borneo, in the state of Sabah of Malaysia. The Crocker Range divides the western coastal plains from the rest of Sabah on the south of the great Mount Kinabalu (the tallest mountain in Malaysia). Lying more than 300 metres above sea level, it spreads over 139,919 hectares of densely forested terrain. The spine of Sabah is the nickname given to the Crocker Range. Lying north-east and South-we sternly, this range divides Sabah into two, the western and interior eastern parks. It stretches from south of Kundasang in the north to Tenom in the south.

     The ecological significance of Borneo is recognize and listed in ‘Global 200’ by WWF, ‘Endemic Bird Area’ by Birdlife International, and ‘Hotspots’ by Conservation International. Borneo is viewed as one of earth’s mega-biodiversity areas.

     At present, Sabah Parks’ estimates more than 500 people live within CRP’s boundaries and over 3,000ha of land are still used for agriculture. The communities or scattered households inside and along the park’s boundaries, whether they moved in before or after the gazatting of the park, are relatively poorer and have less access to the commercial and social services available in most rural communities in the plain area. The CRNP faces many treats including shifting cultivation, uncontrolled hunting, the introduction of exotic fisher, and forest fires. The management of CRNP cannot be easily improved via the existing approaches or by simply applying the laws listed in the park Enactment. The law itself doest not allow any residence or human activities inside a park except those authorized by Sabah Parks.

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