KOTA KINABALU, Dec 2 — The Sabah government has launched a new set of Strategic Plan of Actions (2021-2023) to address emerging challenges and take advantage of potential opportunities to enhance conservation and management of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) landscape.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said Sabah had made significant strides in implementing programmes and projects set forth in the Second Sabah Strategic Plan of Actions.
However, he said given the rapidly changing economic, social and environmental landscape, a new strategic plan of action was needed to build on the achievements of its predecessor.
“The achievements are underpinned by the following strengths of the Sabah HoB Initiative: state and federal governments’ commitment towards the initiative; policy continuity; the ability for key stakeholders to work together; and the ability to leverage the HoB brand for funding and new partnerships,” he said.
Hajiji said this at the opening of the HoB Symposium Sabah themed ‘The Need for Holistic and Pragmatic Approaches on Conservation Efforts’, here today.
His speech text was read out by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who is also Sabah Agriculture and Fisheries Minister.
Hajiji said several new features were introduced in the new strategic plan of action to further align its focus moving forward representing strategic shifts critical to move the Sabah HoB Initiative to higher gear towards conservation.
“The goals of the focus area of the Sabah HoB strategic plan of action are closely aligned with the main goals of the key State’s and national’s development plans including the Haja Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya Development Plan 2021-2025, Sabah Development Corridor Blueprint 2021-2030 and the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025.
“Public awareness of HoB and its conservation efforts has always been a priority to Sabah. Over the past years, roadshows, environmental education and training programmes to promote HoB Initiatives are conducted for teachers and local communities, especially to those residing within or near the HoB landscape,” he said.
Hajiji said the Sabah HoB, represented around 60 per cent of Malaysia’s Heart of Borneo landscape and it holds one of the world’s remaining bastions of treasured biodiversity.
He said that 64 per cent of Sabah’s landmass are protected forest since 1990, of which 52 per cent were gazetted as Forest Reserves, State Parks, Wildlife Sanctuary and also Wildlife Conservation Areas.
The chief minister also thanked the federal government, particularly the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, for supporting the HoB Initiative through the Malaysian Plan since 2009.
The federal government has provided a total of RM47 million to Sabah for the HoB Initiative implementation since 2009, and a total RM13 million has been pledged under the 12th Malaysia Plan, he added.