Thursday, November 08, 2012

Heart of Borneo forests a prized heritage

KOTA KINABALU: The conservation of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) forests is a matter of major local, national, regional and international concern because of the diversity of their unique array of plants and animals.

Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia Minister Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup said at the closing ceremony of the International Conference on Heart of Borneo +5 and Beyond: “Shaping and nurturing Sabah’s future together” at Sutera Harbour Resort near here yesterday that the forests at HoB were also of critical value to the people and countries of Borneo as prized natural heritage and for the goods and services that they provide.

“Hence, the HoB areas must be effectively managed on the basis of sustainable land use planning and implementation with regard to the balance of ecosystem, socio-cultural, economic and political aspects within the respective nations,” he said.

Kurup said the country recognised the importance of HoB initiative, which was in harmony with existing policies, plans and programmes pertaining to sustainable development, land use and conservation, both at state and national levels.

“The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia views HoB as a significant initiative that will directly contribute towards the betterment in forest management and conservation,” he said.

He also assured of the federal government’s support.

“Malaysia reiterates the importance that this initiative be continued to be placed within the government’s sustainable development framework and policy,” he said.