Monday, February 6, 2012

Musa Aman, conservationist par excellence

Musa Aman, conservationist par excellence

<b>A heart for conservation</b>: Sabah chief minister Musa Aman and Lorna Casselton, foreign secretary of the Royal Society.A heart for conservation: Sabah chief minister Musa Aman and Lorna Casselton, foreign secretary of the Royal Society.
Sabah’s forests, gold and minerals would have disappeared if not for Musa
The message to Sabahans is clear: Musa Aman is the only man who can protect Sabah’s last virgin forests, wildlife and bio-diversity and keep global warming in check. He is the chief minister who has stopped logging in the Ulu Segama Malua and Maliau basin and created a forest buffer three times the size of Singapore to protect Danum valley from logging, mining and opening up land for agriculture. Without him, the forests and minerals such as gold there in the east coast of Sabah would have disappeared. Oil palms would have replaced the rainforest.
“We have to congratulate Sabah under Musa Aman for preserving the forests,” said Lorna Casselton, the foreign secretary of Britain’s Royal Society. “If they cut the forests, they can make billions of dollars; but they aren’t and that is so important.”

On July 27 in Kota Kinabalu, Musa witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Royal Society and the Danum Valley management committee for five more years of rainforest research and training. The event marked the 25th year of the South-East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) which began in Danum in 1985, making it the longest-running research project in the society’s 350-year history.

The research has evolved from the mere description of Sabah’s pristine forests to the effects of logging, rehabilitation of logged forests and climate change as forests are turned into plantations. The next five years will focus on the changing rainforest landscape and its effects on climate.

Helped by Canadians, the 43,800-hectare Danum Valley, about twice the size of Penang island, was identified for conservation in 1969 when the forestry department carried out its first forest inventory. It formed part of the Sabah Foundation forest concession the next year and ironically was marked out as part of a commercial forest reserve of Ulu Segama although it was to be conserved, according to Sam Mannan, director of Sabah forestry.

The Foundation was set up to help Sabah’s socio-economic and educational development by providing social and educational aid such as free school uniforms, scholarships and study loans to the people.
But no governments ever saw the need to give Danum protection against logging until Musa became the Sabah Foundation’s director in 1995. Musa stopped logging in Danum after creating a 250,000-hectare forest buffer around it a year earlier and adopted sustainable forest management.
<b>Sam Mannan</b>: Musa makes decisions for the good of Sabahans.Sam Mannan: Musa makes decisions for the good of Sabahans.
However, damage to the Ulu Segama forest reserves was already done by Musa’s predecessors who “hacked off” about 4,000 hectares there, according to Mannan who referred to that period as the “Dark Ages”.
That robbed Danum of a big northern buffer. The result was that acid rain fell on Danum two years ago at the height of a haze over Borneo. Scientists are trying to assess the long term effect of chemical fertilizers used on plantations around Danum.

Mannan regretted that those who could have protected Danum and Ulu Segama Malua at that time refused to do so “for reasons only known to them” and allowed “bad logging”. Forests were turned into oil palm plantations.
The task thus fell on Musa’s shoulder. His strong leadership amid stable politics has allowed him to make unpopular decisions that are critical in conserving about 300,000 hectares of virgin forests, gold, coal and minerals in the Danum Valley and Ulu Segama Malua forest complex.

Under Musa, according to Mannan, “professionals are finally allowed to practise their profession for good governance that allows good sense to prevail,” adding that he has allowed innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in managing Sabah’s scarce natural resources.

He cited an example when he stopped an attempt to log 20,000 hectares of the Danum’s buffer forests that would have fetched 4 billion ringgit ($1.2 billion).

“The only reason we have been able to do this is because of Musa’s strong political leadership,” Mannan said. “I don’t mind to tell you that I have carte blanche from the chief minister to reject directly and forcefully any attempt to re-introduce the policy of random madness.”

Mannan made an impassioned plea to Musa: “Don’t retire yet. We need many more years of your leadership to achieve excellence.”

To the Royal Society, he said: “Never fear. Musa Aman is here to keep the wolves from swallowing Little Red Riding Hood.”

Speaking later, Musa noted with pride that Danum has become one of the world’s top three rainforest research centres. The others are La Selva in Costa Rica and Panama. About 50 Malaysians, mostly Sabahans, have obtained their doctorate and master’s degrees for their research on Danum. They have produced 330 studies. Many of them hold senior posts in state and federal agencies and NGOs. – Insight Sabah
(With reporting by Oliver Majaham. Pictures by Flanegan Bainon)

Green Sabah says: Luckily for Chief Minister Musa Aman for stopping the logging activities in Maliau Basin, Ulu Segama and Danum Valley in order to help conserving our forests. We are grateful that our leaders have the foresight to forgo profits in order to preserve nature and it is hoped that Musa Aman will continue his efforts in achieving excellence in his leadership and environmental conservation.


DorianG said...

Hopefully these conservation efforts will be aggressively carried out by our state government in the future.

Smookiekins said...

leadership of the state government under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman for its political will and for "walking the talk" in implementing programmes and initiatives to protect and conserve the environment.

Hinamori said...

CM said by committing to sustainable ways of logging, Sabah has also been able to safeguard the interests of local communities whose lives depend on the forest.

Anonymous said...

Musa did a good job!

Anonymous said...

"However, damage to the Ulu Segama forest reserves was already done by Musa’s predecessors who “hacked off” about 4,000 hectares there, according to Mannan who referred to that period as the “Dark Ages”."

It was an irresponsible deed.

Mohd Ishak said...

Tahniah kepada KM Musa Aman atas jasa beliau dalam pemuliharaan perhutanan Sabah, aktiviti pembalakan dihentikan untuk menjaga kehijauan hutan.

Mohd Ishak said...

KM-KM sebelum ini tidak pernah mengambil langkah dalam pemuliharaan perhutanan kecuali Musa Aman.

ferlo said...

Musa mmg prihatin akan keadaan alam sekitar kita.

Karin-nah said...

Musa makes decisions for the good of Sabahans..Yeah i agree with this statement. Musa will make sure the best for Sabahans.

Anonymous said...

congratulation to Musa Aman.. so this facts should be enough to explain all slanders or speculations towards him is not true..

Green Sabah said...

Unfortunately this is true, Musa Aman is the only Sabah CM who has made the effort in environment conservation while the rest are only concerned about making profits.

Green Sabah said...

I'm sure the Sabah State Government is doing their best to bring back the forest to its former glory.

Post a Comment