Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia reiterated Monday its commitment to the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative - a Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia effort to preserve one of the most important centres of biological diversity in the world.
Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (pic), said this was because of the benefits, not only for the participating countries but also the world at large.
"I must say that our beautiful and incomparable forest, rich in biodiversity on Borneo island, is our natural heritage which provides so many goods and services vital for our welfare and wellbeing É forests are like the proverbial 'goose that lays the golden eggs' and thus we must be the ones to protect our forests," he said.
He was opening the Third Heart of Borneo (Hob) Trilateral Meeting at Sutera Pacific Hotel here, attended by delegations from the countries involved.
"While we have clearly made significant progress in biodiversity conservation, our task is far from complete," said Kurup, inviting government agencies, research institutions, universities and non-governmental organisations to work together to achieve the ultimate goals in biodiversity conservation.
At the national-level, he said, Malaysia had formed a National Expert Working Group on the HoB, chaired by Secretary-General of his Ministry and comprising experts from the relevant stakeholders from Sabah and Sarawak as well as Peninsular Malaysia.
At the State-level on the other hand, he said Sabah and Sarawak have also formed the State Steering Committee on HoB chaired by their respective State Secretary.
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