Sabah wins UNESCO’s Triple Crown status

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


British natural history publisher has hailed Sabah‘s extraordinary triple-crown achievement as a powerful catalyst.

It is poised to rekindle a profound fascination with the state’s exceptional wildlife.

John Beaufoy, an avid wildlife enthusiast, believed this accolade 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.

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 Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Datuk Zakri Jaafar graced the launch.

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.

Beaufoy pointed out that Sabah has already drawn a significant number of UK wildlife enthusiasts eager to explore the state’s diverse wildlife, from birdlife to butterflies and mammals.

He believed that the UNESCO Global Geopark status would act as a strong magnet, encouraging even more wildlife enthusiasts to consider Sabah a premier destination for wildlife watching.

Meanwhile, Zakri highlighted that this latest UNESCO recognition extends its impact beyond Sabah, encompassing the entire Malaysia.

He remarked that the recognition would undoubtedly elevate the global status of both Sabah and Malaysia, positioning them at the forefront of international recognition and appreciation.

Addressing the arrival of UK tourists to Malaysia, Zakri noted that the country welcomed over 400,000 travelers from the UK prior to the pandemic.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, as of September this year, over 100,000 UK visitors have already returned to Malaysia, signifying promising statistics.

Sabah achieved the triple-crown status after UNESCO recognized the Kinabalu National Geopark as a Global Geopark in May this year.

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.

In his speech, Joniston underscored the Sabah government’s unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism practices.

The World Travel Market 2023 is a momentous occasion for Sabah as it provides them with the opportunity to showcase their latest UNESCO crown jewel to the world. It is to highlight its incredible geology, rich ecosystems, local communities, and the conservation work that earned it UNESCO recognition.

Sabah is not merely a destination but a pledge to preserve the planet’s natural wonders for future generations.

The state government aims to empower rural communities within the Kinabalu Geopark by involving them in both conservation and the tourism industry.

This recognition as the 195th UNESCO Global Geopark solidifies Sabah’s place on the world stage.

Also, invites the global travel and tourism community to experience the splendor of this remarkable Geopark, contributing to its sustainable development and global awareness, he added.

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