|Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (third right) with the representatives of the six conservation and research organisations who paid him a courtesy call at Sri Gaya. They are, from left, Bernard Tai, Datuk Dr Junaidi Payne, Irene Jintoni, Cynthia Ong, Datuk Sam Mannan, Dr Marc Anrenaz and Dr Benoit Goossens. – Photo by Suzanne Chong/LEAP.|
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has received one-page document of a three-point call to action to the Sabah State Government from leaders of six conservation and research organisations. This move shown that both sides agreeing to work together to further map out the recommendations.
Musa said the State government is keen to cooperate with the organisations in safeguarding Sabah’s environment and will study the recomendations in further detail to see their viability. He also added that some of the steps have been taken or are in the process of implementation.
The six conservation and research organisations which are from the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), HUTAN, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), The Royal Society South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) and WWF-Malaysia have made three recommendations to help improve environmental standards in Sabah.
The first recommendation is to elevate Kuamut Forest Reserve into Class 1 Protection status. Second, Yayasan Sabah to conduct independently verifiable moves towards certification of all agricultural and forestry plantations within its area through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Thirdly, State government to conduct an immediate review of all policies, practices and plans within the critical elephant ranges of Sabah, to be carried out by a dedicated Government-industry-NGO-research task force.
In order for Sabah’s conservation and environmental protection efforts to succeed, Musa said Sabah government through its agencies continued to collaborate with some of these NGOs in research, restoration, education and training in conservation and forest management.
He added that the government has embarked on a massive tree replanting effort involving numerous indigenous species so as to allow the forest to regenerate.However, due to lack of publicity, the public may not be aware of some of the efforts and policies undertaken by the government.
Speaking on behalf of the group, LEAP executive director Cynthia Ong said the six organisations wanted to continue to work closely with the State to ensure what have been proposed will be materialized.