Sabah Parks man appoint to World Heritage panel

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Parks director Jamili Nais has become the first Malaysian to be a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Heritage panel.

The 52-year-old Sabahan said that he was “shocked and surprised” that he was picked to become a member of the 13-member panel that oversees nominations for World Heritage Site and reviews conservation reports for the World Heritage Committee.

He said that he applied in September last year to be member of the panel after getting the green light from state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun

“It is a big responsibility,” said Jamili at a press conference where Masidi announced Jamili’s appointment to the world body.

“The applications are really competitive. I did not expect to be selected out of all the worldwide applications,” said the Ranau native who oversees Sabah Parks nature and marine parks including Mount Kinabalu, a world heritage site.

He will be the only representative from Asia on the current panel which will serve for the next four years.

A botanist trained at University Teknologi Mara and who did his PhD in plant ecology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Jamili has about 29 years of experience in Sabah Parks which he has headed for the last three years.

According to Jamili, he met with the strict with the strict IUCN requirements which included experience in working at evaluating World Heritage Sites and knowledge on geological and natural science among others.

He said that he had worked on evaluation of Kinabalu Park and was involved in the evaluation of Tubbatha Reef in the Philippines as a nominee and was a facilitator for the nomination of Hiroshima in Japan.

His first meeting will be in Gland Switzerland from Dec 4-8.

Masidi said that Jamili’s appointment was a pride to not only Sabah but all Malaysians.

Source: The Star