Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sabah committed to Heart of Borneo

KOTA KINABALU: The State government is committed to achieving the objectives of the Heart of Borneo initiative, which includes conserving and efficiently managing rich biodiversity within contiguous tropical forests on the island of Borneo.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said under the various government programmes, it is important to utilise natural and social capital for economic development in an innovative way to generate new physical and financial capital.

“As there is growing concern on over-exploiting natural assets, we have to ensure that such development is done in a sustainable manner, giving priority to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

“It is also important for us to work hand-in-hand with various stakeholders and sectors in achieving this goal,” said Musa at the launching of the “International Conference on Heart of Borneo’s Natural Capital: Unleashing their Potential for Sustainable Growth in Sabah” at Sutera Harbour Resort (SHR) here yesterday.

Musa who is also Finance Minister was happy to note that the Sabah Forestry Department has taken the lead in implementing various conservation efforts and activities under the Heart of Borneo initiative in partnership with international and local agencies, as well as local communities.

“The implementation of this initiative takes cognisance of local sensitivity and culture and adheres to existing legal instruments and policies. It is tailored to the current condition and availability of means of implementation,” said Musa.

Through the Heart of Borneo, he said Sabah increased Totally Protected Areas to 1.3 million hectares or 18 per cent of the State’s land area, surpassing the IUCN target of 10 per cent for countries.

“We have also improved the connectivity of existing protected areas, particularly the super corridor linking Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon and Danum Valley within the greater Ulu Segama Malua, now dubbed as the ‘Green Heart of Sabah’, and we have further promoted Sustainable Forest Management,” disclosed Musa.

He added: “In addition, we have reinforced protection with the establishment of 14 Field Outposts and Wildlife Protection units.”

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