SINGAI BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND ECOTOURISM PROJECT
The Singai Bidayuh (Bisingai) had lived in eight villages half way up Mount Singai. Their practice of pagan rituals and belief influenced the locals’ thinking and daily activities. About 40 years ago, they moved downhill to their farmlands forming 13 villages. There is little known about Mount Singai and its rich culture as there was no systematic study undertaken while surrounding land development is rapid and posing great threat to the ecosystem of Mount Singai. Mount Singai is the only remnant pristine forest in Singai area containing rich biodiversity of ecological interests and natural features as well as historical and religious sites of tourism attraction. The committee wishes to continue to create awareness among the local community and tourists on the need and importance to preserve and conserve their green and beautiful environment. Lack of information even through the Singai Expedition to substantiate such claims had impeded the committee to convince the locals and the authority. Such failure could lead to deterioration of Mount Singai and its total destruction one day.
The project aims to document the biodiversity of Mount Singai and its surrounding lowlands focusing on different habitats and species of economic and conservation importance. As such this will also enhance tourism-related components and increase the capacity of the local indigenous Bisingai community, living in 8 villages on Mount Singai on wise use of their natural resources, and to ensure that the natural heritage and environment will remain intact and enhanced.
Project Objectives
a. To get more information on the biodiversity, natural features, historical and cultural sites in Mount Singai for its protection and the conservation of Mount Singai

b. To increase and instill awareness among the local community on the importance of conservation and their small contribution to green earth campaign

c. To empower the local community on deciding on what’s best for sustainable usage and conservation of their natural resources especially biological resources.

The activities of this project are:

• Document the biodiversity of Mount Singai and surrounding lowlands focusing on different habitats and species of economic and conservation importance,
• Enhance tourism-related components and increase capacity of the community in wise use of their resources.

The local communities will be involved in all activities above: The youths will assist as assistants in the biodiversity and forest perimeter survey and guides for tourists while the women folks in tourism-related activities such as handicraft and home-stay program.

Participating agencies: Local Government Agency (Bau District Office, Bau District Council), Sarawak Tourism Board, Natural Resources and Environment Board, Sarawak Forest Department, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Sarawak Biodiversity Center

Expected Output:
• Mount Singai along with the biological diversity, natural heritage, and environment integrity remain intact and enhanced.
• Local communities will have more power in deciding the use of their own resources.
• Responsible eco-tourism will be enhanced and hence increased local livelihoods
• Increased opportunity for Bisingai community to revive their natural and cultural history through involvement in research and cultural experiences,
• Increased visitor’s awareness on importance of biological and socio-cultural resources and environmental conservation.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee: Pertubuhan Pergerakan Penyelidikan Dan Pembangunan Singai, Sarawak
Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Biodiversity
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 35,999.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 79,529.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP5/STAR/BD/12/05
Start Date: 7/2012
End Date: 5/2014
Status: Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak (REDEEMS) is a community based organization (CBO) for the 12 Kampungs (villages) in Singai area of Bau District in Kuching Division of Sarawak, Malaysia. The 12 kampungs are namely Kpg. Apar, Kpg Segong, Kpg. Barieng, Kpg. Sudoh, Kpg. Atas, Kpg. Tanjong Poting, Kpg. Tanjong Bowang, Kpg. Senibong, Kpg. Daun, Kpg. Bobak Sajong, Kpg. Bobak Sejinjang, and Kpg. Sagah. These kampungs are predominantly inhabited by the Bisingai tribe of the Bidayuh community with an estimated population of not less than 15,000 people.
Notable Community Participation
The local communities will be involved in all the activities above: The youths as assistants in the biological and other natural resources sampling and perimeter survey and guides for tourists while women in tourism-related activities such as handicrafts and home-stay programmes; all village heads and committee of each village will be involved in dialogues and awareness raising campaign. The targets of these campaigns are local community, indigenous group, farmers, school children, land developers, and general public (tourists).