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Right decision to ban overnight stays on Sipadan

Kota Kinabalu: The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia lauded the State Government’s recent decision to ban overnight stays on Sipadan Island.

WWF saw the decision as moving towards sustainable management of eco-tourism resources and the environment.

Its Borneo Programme Director Dr Geoffrey Davison said it was a difficult decision to make “but ultimately it was right so as to protect the island from further degradation.

“It is never too late to recognise that something must be done to reverse the impact of human activities and the Minister of Tourism has certainly made the wise decision to limit dive operators to conduct only day trips to Sipadan by end of this year,” he said.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had also said last Thursday that the five dive operators have until the end of this year to remove all man-made structures from the island.

Geoffrey said the relocation of the dive operation bases would not only alleviate the pressure on Sipadan, but would also be economically viable for the local communities.

By setting up facilities on the islands around Semporna, he said the dive operators could create employment.

“However, operators should be aware of the impact they will have on the new locations and should implement sustainable practices such as proper waste and sewage management,” he cautioned.

Source: Daily Express

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