Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sabah seeks RM50 million to meet Heart of Borneo goal

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Forestry Department has requested the Federal Government to up its allocation for the Heart of Borneo Initiative (HoB) by 50 per cent to some RM50 million under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Its Director Datuk Sam Mannan said the amount is vital for Sabah to achieve and develop the targeted 30 per cent Totally Protected Area (TPAs) in the next 10 years. "It is value for money whereby the programme will capture the imagination, capture the hearts and capture the minds of the world.

"Work on the ground will reinforce Malaysia's position as a leader in responsible natural resources management and make us (Malaysia) proud," he said at the opening of the Sixth International Conference on "Enhancing bio-diversity towards No Net Loss and beyond within the Heart of Borneo," here, Monday.

HoB in an initiative inked by Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia in 2007 to protect a shared 220,000km square forested region on Borneo island, with the Sabah Forestry Department taking the lead for Sabah.

Mannan had indicated that Sabah is poised to increase its TPAs to 30 per cent or 2.2 million ha. At present Sabah has 20 per cent (1.35 million ha) exceeding the International Union for Conservation of Nature recommendation of 10 per cent.

"By the end of 2014, we aim to add another 200,000ha," he said. Federal Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G Palanivel who was present to launch the event, meanwhile, said the Federal Government had allocated RM34.46 million for conservation efforts in Sabah and Sarawak 2011 until 2015.