Environmental Education

The Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) is an Environmental Education (EE) centre situated at the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Virgin Jungle Reserve, about 25 KM west of Sandakan Town. It is managed under the Natural Forest Management Programme at the adjacent Forest Research Centre, the R&D division of the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD).

The RDC is best known in Sabah for its EE programme. With a recorded 403 visits by 27,556 children from 1997 to 2010, it is probably Sabah's most visited EE centre!

chalk boardEnvironmental Education for Teachers

Since 1998, we have trained about 800 in-service teachers in EE! We work very closely with the State Education Department, especially with the Sandakan Branch of the department. Our other main partners are the Sabah Wildlife Department, Environment Protection Department, HUTAN and many others in the private sector and local communities.

This training consist of 80% outdoor course!

Our course, called the EERace, features 80% outdoor activities, participant-centred learning, group effort and more than 18 interesting environment-related assignments. Interestingly, when registering for an EERace, all participants do not have any idea of what they are about to learn or where they are going! The recent EERaces brought participants to 6 districts within the Heart of Borneo.

Our EERace is conducted twice a year, the first is for secondary school teachers and the second is for primary school teachers. This is an "exclusive" course, that is, one joins by invitation ONLY!!

For teachers who are interested to be involved in this course, please contact us!

gamesEnvironmental Education for Students

The RDC is one of the most popular environmental education centre in Sabah, Malaysia. From 2007 to 2012 alone, about 15,800 students from both local and foreign schools have participated in our EE programmes!

Our EE programmes for school visits are customised to suit student groups of all ages--from pre-schoolers to undergraduates! If you visit the RDC on a weekend, you'll most probably see us conducting a programme with a group of students.

chalk boardOur Facilities

With the rain forest just about 8 miles away from the Sandakan Airport, and only 24 km (14 miles) from Sandakan Town, it is probably the most accessible rain forest in Sabah!

Here, you can discover the rain forest from the treetops (along a 347 m-long Canopy Walkway) and from the ground (along our network of trails and paths)!

Facilities Description
The Canopy Walkway The Canopy Walkway is about 347 m long with 2 towers (named Bristlehead and Trogon respectively) and a single-column Sunbird Shelter. It is the first of its kind in the country and one of few of such structures in the Southeast Asia!

The walkway is 2-m wide and about 25 m above the ground at its highest point. It is made very sturdy to cater to large crowds. Most of all, it was designed to be safe for kindergarten-level children as the RDC is really an environmental education centre!

The Canopy Walkway provides additional opportunities for nature education, birding and photography, thereby adding value to the overall experience of visitors.
Visitor Building The Visitor Building houses a multi-purpose hall (called the Rainforest Hall), a Muslim prayer room, offices, toilets, EE Activity Hall, toilets and Exhibition Hall.

The exhibition focuses on the flora and fauna of Sabah. For plants, the posters cover a wide range of topics, from various plant groups, adaptations to forest types.

The section on animals is mainly about the more iconic and well-known groups of mammals in Sabah, such as the Bornean pygmy elephant, squirrels, primates, wild cats and deer. There are also information on reptiles and the main groups of birds.
Rainforest Discovery Trails The Rainforest Discovery Trails is a network of nature trails that provides easy access into the forest.

Numerous interpretive panels along the trail describe the unique features of the natural forest and its inhabitants. Night walks along the trails also offer a chance to see wildlife, such as slow lorises, tarsiers, mouse deer and civet cats, and interesting insects such as stick insects.
Plant Discovery Garden The Plant Discovery Garden serves to promote an overall appreciation for plants in terms of their diversity, uniqueness, biological functions and values to society.

The core garden area is only about 1 hectare (about 3 acres). It features special displays on native and hybrid orchids, arid land plants, aquatic plants, pitcher-plants, economic crops, and tropical American plants, amongst others. There are many colourful outdoor interpretive panels are designed to enhance the educational experience of visitors.

chalk boardSepilok Junior Ranger

The Sepilok Junior Ranger Programme was launched on the 11th November 2006 for children of the staff of the Sabah Forestry and Sabah Wildlife Departments residing in Sepilok. The Sepilok Junior Rangers (SJRs) are aged from 9 to 17 years old. The programme’s main aim is to instil a caring attitude towards the RDC and the environmental as a whole amongst the SJRs.

Numerous EE activities were conducted for the SJRs at the RDC. In the recent years, they were trained to conduct EE activities for the general public during Sabah Forestry Department's public exhibition in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.

Junior Board
Senior SJRs are also trained to conduct children's events such as camps and children's conferences. During these events, they are called Junior Board.

The first junior board was set up for the 6th YAWA-SEEN International Children Conference on the Environment (June 2009) and the second was the Asian Wetland School Network Exchange Programme (March 2011).

They also conduct the Children's Bird Camp during the annual Borneo Bird Festivals held at RDC since Oct 2010 (with the exception of 2012 when the festival was held elsewhere).

Holistic training
Besides activities to educate SJRs about the environment, for e.g. learning about local plants and trees, animals and birding, they are also trained in planning, organising and conducting certain activities during events we organise. In this way, we hope to enhance leadership qualities and to improve their inter-personal and communication skills.

map pinGetting Here

If you wish to contact The Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), provided below is the contact information and map direction.

E-mail Address
Telephone (+6) 089-533780
(+6) 089-533781
Mailing Address EE Programme Coordinator,
Rainforest Discovery Centre, PO Box 1407, 90715 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia