|Suhaimi R (2001) Use of interpretive posters at Lambir Hills National Park, Malaysia, Hornbill
USE OF INTERPRETIVE POSTERS AT LAMBIR HILLS NATIONAL
Lambir Hills National Park is particularly important
for conservation because it has a very large number of plant species.
Almost all the visitors to the Park come to picnic and swim at Letak
waterfall, and are probably unaware of the other values of the Park.
This is a good opportunity for NPWD to implement its strategy of
supporting conservation through the promotion of education and
appreciation of nature by providing interpretation for visitors to the
The study investigated the appropriateness of using
posters to provide information on local plants. Temporary posters were
put up, and an exit survey of Sarawakian visitors was used to find out
what they could recall from the posters. More than half of the
respondents recalled seeing the picture on at least one poster, but none
of them could remember the information in the accompanying text.
Posters seem to get people’s attention, but they do
not necessarily read the accompanying text. Posters where the message is
conveyed entirely in pictures may be effective, or posters can be
combined with other media.
Lambir Hills National Park
The major conservation value of Lambir Hills National Park lies in
its vegetation, and especially its mixed dipterocarp forest. This
particular forest is extraordinarily rich in tree species and may well
to be the richest conserved forest in the world. The park probably
contains more endangered species of tree than any other national park in
Sarawak and possibly the whole of Asia (Watson, 1985).
Current status of interpretive facility at park
Currently, the park does not have an interpretive centre, video
shows or guided walks, only brochures and signboards along the trails.
Interpretation is an "educational activity which aims to reveal
meanings and relationships through the use of original objects, by first
hand experience and by illustrative media, rather than just simply to
communicate factual information" (Tilden, 1977). Experience of
visiting Lambir can be greatly enriched by improved information
Rationale of using posters as interpretive tools in
The advantages of using posters as interpretive tool include:
- an attractive way to approach park visitors,
- attract various level of viewers,
- simple and easy to understand,
- visitors can chose the topics which interest them.
The objectives of the study
The study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of using
interpretive posters in giving information to the local visitors at
Lambir, but finding out how much information from interpretive posters
they could recall (absorb and retain).
Various species of plants commonly found along the main trail to
Latak waterfall were depicted in the trial posters, together with a few
lines of text in both Malay and English. The A3-size colour posters were
mounted on plywood and displayed at strategic locations: the canteen,
the visitor reception counter, day-shelters at Latak Waterfall and
viewing platforms along the trail.
Sarawakian visitors aged 12 or over were surveyed when they left the
Park. They were shown a card with all the pictures from the posters and
asked if they recalled seeing the pictures in the Park. If so, they were
asked what information they could recall from the poster. Respondents
were divided into children (school age) and adults.
Two hundred respondents were interviewed, including
117 children and 83 adults. More than half of the respondents (57% of
the adults and 56% of the children) recognised the picture of at least
one plant shown in a poster. However, no one recalled any of the
information in the accompanying text.
When asked where they had seen the picture, a few (8
adults and 3 children) gave places outside the Park. It seems that some
people said they recalled seeing the picture when in fact they
recalled seeing the plant depicted. The questions need to be
clear and should be tried out on many people before starting the survey.
Interpretation applied in the park needs to be
approach in many ways. This is because the people who come to the park
are of different ages, academic level, perception, needs and purposes.
Posters are a simple and flexible way to introduce visitors to features
of the park and to help them to appreciate the values of the park.
However, we should not assume that visitors will read
and recall the text of posters. Posters which use only pictures to
convey a message may be effective. Posters using cartoons or with a
striking picture and a simple slogan (one or two words) should also be
Tilden, F. (1977) Interpreting our Heritage (3rd
edition). U of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill NC
Watson, H. (1985) Lambir Hills National Park -
Resource Inventory with Management Recommendations, unpublished
report to National Parks and Wildlife Office, Sarawak Forest Department