KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government will continue to support Sabah and Sarawak in implementing the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Initiative in view of the accomplishments achieved, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
In the Ninth and 10th Malaysia Plans, the Federal Government had allocated about RM33.4 million to implement various projects and activities under the HoB Initiative and had further allocated a significant amount of RM67.8 million under the 11th Malaysia Development Plan for the same purpose.
Out of this, about RM41.5 million was for Sabah HoB Project, making the total contribution for Sabah alone up to about RM65.7 million.
“The successful implementation of all the activities under HoB also indicates the dedication and support of the both state governments.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank both state governments of Sabah and
Sarawak for giving their commitment to the HoB Initiative.” Wan Junaidi said in his speech delivered by secretary-general of his ministry, Dato’ Sri Azizan bin Ahmad at the closing ceremony of the International HoB Conference – A Decade of HoB Initiative: Accomplishments and the Way Forward.
He said Malaysia was one of the mega biodiversity hotspots in the world with high diversity of flora and fauna, most of which were found in tropical rainforests.
Besides being home to invaluable biodiversity, the forests played an important role in the maintenance of climatic and environmental stability and in the supply of clean water resources in line with efforts towards achieving Global Objectives on Forests as well as the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure environmental sustainability.
He said Malaysia recognised the importance of HoB Initiative, which emphasised the conservation of forests and sustainable forest management.
“This is in harmony with the existing policies, plans and programmes pertaining to sustainable development, land use and conservation at both state and national levels.
“The Ministry of Natural Resources, Malaysia views the HoB as a significant initiative that will directly contribute to better forest management and conservation.
“Therefore, this initiative will continue to be placed well within the government’s sustainable development framework and policy,” he said.
Wan Junaidi continued to say that much has been achieved from the HoB Initiative after 10 years of implementation since the Declaration on the HoB Initiative was signed among the three countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia in 2007.
Also present was Sabah Forestry Department’s Chief Conservator of Forests, Datuk Sam Mannan and Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.
Source : The Borneo Post