WWF lauds Sabah government for increasing protection forests in Permanent Forest Reserve
KOTA KINABALU: Executive Directors of WWF-Malaysia, WWF-UK, and Borneo Rhino Alliance handed a congratulatory letter to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the centenary celebrations of Sabah Forestry Department held November 9 in Kota Kinabalu.
The letter lauds the Sabah government for its “visionary plan of increasing the protected forests from the current extent of 18 percent of landmass of Sabah to 30 percent by the year 2020.”
The letter further reads, “This marks a reversal in the policies and practice which dominated forest management approaches in the 1970s to 1990s, and shows Sabah as an international leader in forest conservation.
At a time of celebrating 100 years since the creation of the Sabah Forestry Department, it is enlightening to note that this important decision supports earlier policy decisions to reserve forests permanently for the benefit of present and future inhabitants of the land, so as to maintain the climate and physical condition of the country. Furthermore this decision gives hope that Sabah will maintain its rich and unique forest fauna and flora, ensuring the State’s natural heritage is maintained in perpetuity.
In an international context, the maintenance of a permanent forest estate covering about half of the state, not converting the estate to agricultural and other non-forest uses, and the establishment of total protection for the few remaining areas of unlogged forest, and other areas of conservation importance shows a strong commitment to the Heart of Borneo workplan, and a significant contribution to other international commitments.
It is heartening to note that the State Government is committed to enhancing biodiversity towards no net loss and beyond within the Heart of Borneo landscape, as reflected in the theme of this year’s Heart of Borneo International Conference.
The letter also urged the Sabah government that “It is our sincere hope that the State Government will allocate adequate financing for management and restoration of the protection forests with the goal of delivering a net gain for biodiversity in Sabah. Please rest assured that we will continue to partner with the State Government to achieve this noble goal.”