Thursday, November 10, 2016

Malaysia Federal Government supports Heart of Borneo Initiative in Sabah, Sarawak

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government will continue to support Sabah and Sarawak in the implementation of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative, said Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

In his speech which was read out by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Secretary General Datuk Sr Dr Azimuddin Bahari during the closing ceremony of the International Conference on the Heart of Borneo: Enabling and Empowering Conservation Through Science-Policy Interface, Conservation Finance and Community Engagement at the Magellan Sutera Resort yesterday, he said that under the 9th and 10th Malaysia Plan, the Federal Government has allocated about RM34.46 million to implement various projects and activities under the HoB Initiative.

“It has further allocated another RM75.05 million under the 11th Malaysia Development Plan for the same purpose. “The successful implementation of all the activities under HoB also indicates the dedication and support of both Sabah and Sarawak state governments,” said Wan Junaidi.

Wan Junaidi also said that the HoB is the beacon of biodiversity and should be given priority and due attention and conservation.

“The Malaysian Government recognises the significance of the HoB Initiative, which is in tandem with the existing policies, plans and programmes pertaining to sustainable development, land use and conservation at both state and national levels.

“The Ministry views the HoB as an important initiative that will directly contribute towards the betterment in forest management and conservation,” he added.

He added that his ministry hopes for an expansion of conservation efforts beyond boundaries and key trans-boundary conservation project or initiatives such as the Corridor Project and the Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Project could be implemented as soon as possible.

“One of the important decisions reached in the 10th Trilateral Meeting on Heart of Borneo in Brunei was on the implementation of the Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Project proposal between Malaysia and Indonesia. “This collaboration is timely and incredibly important in view of the utmost urgency to save the last rhinoceros on the Island of Borneo.

“In awareness of this vital call for conservation, the Federal Government through the 11th Malaysia Plan has allocated RM5.8 million to the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) to support the Sumatran Rhino Conservation Programme,” Wan Junaidi said, adding that a draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the project from Malaysia has already been prepared and is currently being finalised.