The prestigious award was presented to Kinabalu Park during the Brandlaureate Award 2013-2014 presentation on May 30, organised by Asia Pacific Brands Foundation held in Kuala Lumpur.
On Wednesday, in a simple ceremony, Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun presented the certificate and the trophy of the award to Kinabalu Park Manager Justinus Guntabid.
Asia Pacific Brands Foundation (APBF) which was founded in 2004 is a non-profit organisation dedicated to developing brands in a myriad of business backdrops and led by Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad together with a Board of Governors who are experienced captains of industries and established brand icons.
The Brandlaureate Awards recognise world-class achievement in branding amongst individuals and companies. The other recipients of the award were Perbadanan Putrajaya (Floria Putrajaya), Captain James Anthony Tan and Crystal Lee.
When presenting the award to Kinabalu Park, APBF cited that Kinabalu Park was awarded The Brandlaureate Country Branding Award 2013-2014 because of its status as world heritage as well as of having diverse biota and high endemism.
Meanwhile, Masidi in his address said the Kinabalu Park deserved the award not merely due to its status as World Heritage Site but also because of the fact that Kinabalu Park had the highest number of plant species per unit area in the world.
He said Kinabalu Park had 5,500 plant species in 30km x 40km beside housing 866 species of orchids, ferns (609), oaks and chestnuts (63), pitcher plants (14), mosses and liverworts (450), 326 birds (326), 625 butterflies (625), 90 lowland mammals (90), montane mammals (22), snakes (67), frogs and toads (61) and fishes (40).
"More interesting, in the single day of climb, you can experience spring, summer, autumn and winter, all together. Having all that, obviously they are deserving recipient of The Brandlaureate Country Branding Award 2013- 2014," Masidi added.
Speaking to reporters later, Masidi said Kinabalu Park was in the process of completing the construction of a 28-bed hostel in Laban Rata of the Kinabalu Park and the facility would be managed by the Kinabalu Park itself once it began operations.