"Sabah will continue to strive to excel in the governance of best practices in forest management and conservation." - New Straits Times
Forest conservation and environmental protection are important. This is to minimize the damaging effects of deforestation activities. Sustainable forest management helps ensure adequate natural forests to maintain the quality and stability of the environment. Thus all forms of forest exploration and development of other infrastructure, both in the ground state, should be fully monitored and controlled in accordance with a predetermined management plan to ensure the sustainability of natural resources while preserving environmental quality and ecological stability.
The government should prioritize forest conservation because people have the right to enjoy a clean environment besides protecting the habitat of flora and fauna. In this regard, the government should use existing authority to gazette the forest reserve. Through this, forest security and sustainability will be assured. Among the other measures that can help forest conservation is to create a national park, controlling illegal logging, replanting trees in forests that have been logged, and environmental education.
Concern over the matter, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman has led Sabah a step further when it emerged as the first state in Asian region to establish Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank or known as Malua Biobank. This initiative is to protect the interests of nature in the long run in the Malua Forest Reserve. The state government is confident that efforts to protect forests could be offset by the establishment of the bank with the rapid development in the state.
Apart from that, Sabah has one of the largest conservation areas in the country. This area includes the Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon with an area of more than 400,000 hectares, almost 15 times the size of Penang.
Hopefully, the approach taken to protect forests in Sabah will be effective in ensuring that there is a rainforest in the state to be inherited by future generations. The law needs to be enforced. The private sector and the public should also play a role in alleviating the burden of the government and not expect the government alone to address the environmental issues that arise because it is a responsibility of co.