RCE Kuching - 2022

Location

RCE KUCHING
Level 3, UCSI University, Lot 2976, Block 7, Muara Tebas Land District, Sejingkat, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak
Malaysia
MY
Paku Rock Maze Garden
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Paku Rock Maze Garden
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Kuching
Contributing organization(s) : 
Responsible Borneo, Sarawak Research Society, Bau District Council, Sarawak Delta Geopark, Persatuan Penganut Shak Bong Kung Paku, Hwa Gong Bau Historical Society, Worming Up, Emerald Publishing, UCSI University
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
RCE Kuching
Organizational Affiliation: 
Responsible Borneo
Format of project: 
manuscript
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Asia-Pacific
Country: 
Malaysia
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Responsible Borneo, Level 3, UCSI University, Lot 2976, Block 7, Muara Tebas Land District, Sejingkat, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak
Ecosystem(s):
Target Audience:
Community, Higher
Community leaders, Local community, Government and Non-Government Organizations, Associations, Societies, Educational Institution, family and youths.
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Socioeconomic: Paku Town have Chinese and mining history more than 200 years. Paku Town’s name is derived from two sources. The first saying was that Paku Town was named after the Hakka pronunciation of Serembu. The second saying was that according to legend, there was an olive tree in the center of the town. The olives would be stained with sand when they dropped to the ground. Hence the name “沙榄埔(Sha Lan Bu)”. The town has a population of about 600 people, of which about 95% are Chinese, mainly Hakka people, and about 5% are Bidayuh. The Chinese education in the Paku of Sarawak can be traced back to 1870, the first Chinese primary school in Sarawak - "HanMin School" established by Chinese in Sarawak.
Environmental: Paku rock maze, it is a naturally formed stone forest landform site located behind the Shiwang Temple. Before 2021, it is an undeveloped primitive stone forest overgrown with shrubs. Paku rock maze garden, in addition to the representative "Golden Hoop", there is also a mini "Five Fingers Mountain" standing in the center. Its height is only half a person's body, and its five uplifted ridges and spreading moss are like a miniature model of a plateau mountain. The name "Five Fingers Mountain" is not only because of the similar shape of its five ridges, but also to echo the culture of "Monkey King" together with the roots of the "Golden Hoop". It is hoped that while developing its tourism potential, it also integrates cultural heritage
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Sustainable development is the core value when we carry out the project at Paku Rock Maze Garden in line with the prime aim of Sarawak Tourism towards Responsible Tourism. With the historical value that the place itself carries, it provides solid reason why it should be sustainably carried out to safeguard the beautiful natural resources in Sarawak and to ensure the protection and survival for many generations to come. The main challenge to the project is that as it is develop to be a place that people can visit and appreciate the nature’s beauty, there will be some people who will vandalise or not adhere to the do’s and don’ts stated. Therefore, we are working with the local community as they stay in the area itself to assist in preservation of the area as well as being the tour guide to bring people around the rock maze and ensure that they adhere to the rules.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
September, 2021 to December, 2023
Rationale: 
Paku Rock Maze Garden is a hidden gems that are just by the roadside of the way from Kuching (Capital City of Sarawak State) to Bau (a developing district with history as mining town). By developing the place sustainably with the assistance form the local communities, district council and other community leaders, we can make the place last long while people come to visit the place. Indirectly, it helps the local people who set up stalls or selling things in the area as when tourist visit the place, they will spend some money buying the food, products or services. This programme is also in line with the declaration of "Sarawak Commitment to Responsible Tourism" as announced by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak and it acts as the support activities that enable Sarawak to achieve its goal in ensuring Sarawak's tourism industry remains relevant, viable and sustainable.
Objectives: 
- Learn real time on how sustainable practices can be carried out from the beginning of the project, clearing up the sites and ensure that tourist adhere to the rules toward being sustainable and responsible.
- Learn more about the historical and cultural aspect of the place and how it can be liven up by communication with community leaders and the local people.
- Ensure that the place is preserve for a long time for generations to come
Activities and/or practices employed: 
We started the project in September 2021 when the community leader introduce the site to us for opinion on how the place can be developed further, we had divided the action plan into three phase. We are currently in the first phase and we, the RCE Kuching Fellows and youth ambassador together with the local community had completed the following
1. Uncovering the site with local community
2. Putting borders on public and private land
3. Cleaning and clearing the site, putting rocks and pathway so it is accessible by general public
4. Mapping of the rock maze to ease public on the path to take
5. Collaborating with local authorities to get their opinion on the development of the place via experiential tour
6. Publication about the site in local newspaper, social media, and website.
7. Working with local communities that sell products and services in the area as the meals provider during our visit for experiential tour or site clearing.
8. Engaging with schools teachers on our ePandei Module to educate the students in Paku with responsible and sustainable tourism.
9. Creating of interactive information signage to be put on the site to engage visitors and to collect public opinion
10. Promotion of the site via pictures, videos and inviting tourism players to the site with the support of the local leaders.
11. Continuation of clearing and preserving the place while open for the general public to visit the site.

Next action plan of RCE youth:
1. Signboard project with the local community
2. Continuation of ePandei Module with schools
3. Gotong Royong activity at the site
4. Culture event to raise awareness of the place
5. Mapping of the site
Size of academic audience: 
500
Results: 
Through the activity that we had carried out with the local community, we had successfully promote the place to more people and a lot of visitors come for visit through the promotion in social media, newspaper, tourism board and familiarization trip. While also in line with responsible and sustainable tourism, we work towards not developing too much such as light installations, plank walk installations or accepting mass tourist. We keep the site as it is while welcome people to visit the site. We also open for donations from the public for maintenance, development of phase II and phase III as well as as a donation to the temple nearby where visitors usually park their vehicle at.
Lessons learned: 
Success Factor: The project is a success because we work with the local community and with their support, wisdom as well as the historical and cultural sharing, we can develop the place while maintaining the originality of the cultural and historical value. Besides, we also work with association such as society of wilderness to get their feedback on the development of the site. Not only that, we also invite the tourism players to be involved in promotion of the place and we had received a number of visitors via sharing in the social media (facebook/youtube/Instagram)

Challenges: The challenge is the number of manpower for the site, as we are in a city 30 minutes away from the site, we work with the local community for their assistant to clear the site, lay rocks as the pathway as well as cleaning of the site. Besides, as the site is an open area where it is not fenced, people can easily go in and vandalise the site, there are flora that are being pluck or step on although it is endemic to the site.

Opportunities: We believe there are a lot of opportunities laying ahead for the site as it is something new and we can do it right in the first place with the principle of being sustainable and implying responsible tourism. We are looking forward towards implementing the action plan and do better for the site as well as the local community.


Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The project involve collaboration from the district office, education institute, societies and associations, government and non government agencies and other partners and stakeholders.

Funding: 
Part of the funding was given by the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP) Sarawak via the “Bau Project” where Paku is part of the project. Besides, we also receive some funding from community leader of the area as well as from donation of the public.

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Visitor to the Rock Maze.jpg (198.44 KB) Visitor to the Rock Maze Reborn
Image icon Activity with schools.jpg (295.48 KB) Activity with schools Reborn
Image icon Publication in chinese newspaper.jpg (159.97 KB) Publication in Chinese Newspaper Reborn
Image icon Pathway to guide visitors in the maze.jpg (236.06 KB) Pathway to guide visitors in the maze Reborn
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Direct
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Direct
Theme
Traditional Knowledge  
Direct
Curriculum Development 
Direct
Ecotourism 
Direct
Forests/Trees 
Direct
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
state: 
Direct