Community Ecotourism Co-operative - KOPEL Ltd.Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysian BorneoKOPEL's MISSION & PURPOSE The Batu Puteh Community Ecotourism Co-operative (KOPEL) is set up to promote and build upon the full ethos and scope of Agenda 21 of the Earth Summit in Rio 1991 in Borneo, towards Ecologically Sustainable Development. The Community of Batu Puteh, is like many poor, isolated, indigenous rural communities in Sabah, Borneo Malaysia, where a millennia of traditional reliance on the rainforest for food, medicines, everyday commodities, as well trade with the outside world has been displaced by a rapidly developing world, the loss of forests and cultural heritage, and a cash driven lifestyle.Established now for almost ten years, KOPEL was set up to reverse the losses, to capitalise on ancient indigenous and traditional knowledge and culture, to save and create economic value and appreciation of the mega-diverse rich rainforests of the area, and in the process create a sense of hope for a sustainable future for the people of the Lower Kinabatangan Sabah.
KOPEL QUICK FACTS •KOPEL Ltd. is the Community Ecotourism Co-operative of the Batu Puteh Community.•KOPEL is an acronym for KOPERASI PELANCONGAN means “EcoTourism Co-operative”•KOPEL was registered in July 2003 under Subsection 7(1) of the Malaysian Co-operative Act 1993. KOPEL's Registration No. is: S-4-685•KOPEL is located in the village of Batu Puteh, Lower Kinabatangan, Eastern Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.•Batu Puteh community comprises four (4) villages: Batu Puteh Village, Mengaris Village, Perpaduan Village, and Singgah Mata Village.•KOPEL has 209 members from all of the four villages.•KOPEL was formed to amalgamate (join) a number of separate village ecotourism associations such as MESCOT, Miso Walai Homestay, Mayo do Talud Boat Service, Wayon Tokou Nature Guide Service, MESCOT Culture Group, and the Tulun Tokou Handicrafts Associations.•KOPEL proudly encompasses the objectives of the MESCOT Initiative, which helped create KOPEL and includes the founding objectives of supporting sustainable alternative livelihoods for local people, the conservation of forests and biodiversity, as well as supporting the skills development and training needs of the local community.