Monday, June 17, 2013

Sabah to host conservation training programmes for officers from Asean, Africa, South Asia

Sabah's environmental conservation efforts is set to become the backdrop of an international training programme under a joint Malaysian and Japanese effort.

The Integrated Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Training Course would see government officers from the Asean region as well as Pacific islands, South Asian and African nations undergoing three weeks training at various Sabah authorities - the Forestry Department, the Wildlife Department and Sabah Parks.

The training would be coordinated by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) with funding provided on a 50/50 basis by Wisma Putra under the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

UMS Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC) acting director Assoc Prof Dr Charles Santhanaraju Vairappan said the training would involve 20 participants per year from 2013 to 2015.

''The training is aimed at providing them the knowledge and skills on conservation management from planning to implementation, monitoring and evaluation,'' he said when briefing State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman about the programme here.

Charles said the course would also introduce and emphasise the idea of an integrated approach between implementing agencies and communities for better understanding of alternative livelihood in conservation.

''This training programme would serve to promote Malaysia as a centre of excellence on conservation, research and utilisation of tropical biological diversity by 2020,'' he said.

''Ultimately, it would showcase Sabah as a champion in environmental conservation,'' Charles said in adding that the training would see the participants spending time at Sabah's key conservation areas including the Lower Kinabatangan, the Lower Segama, Crocker Range Park, Tawau Hills Park and Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

Meanwhile, the Sabah government, UMS and JICA were set to step up conservation efforts in the Lower Kinabatangan, Segama as well as Crocker Range parks under the Sustainable Development for Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation in Sabah (SDBEC) initiative.

SDBEC chief adviser Kazunobu Suzuki in briefing to Sukarti said among the programmes being planned were assisting the drawing up of annual action plans for both conservation areas apart from initiating community livelihood initiatives agriculture improvement, sustainable land use and eco tourism.

Sukarti later represented the Sabah government in the signing the notes of discussion for the programmes while JICA was represented by its Malaysia chief representative Kunihiko Sato and UMS by its Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Prof Dr Shahril Yusof.

Source: The Star 


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