Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cabinet nod for green guidelines

The Cabinet has approved a green neighborhood and low carbon city framework and assessment system aimed at reducing the nation's carbon emissions.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said the guidelines would bring the country a step closer to achieving the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 40% by 2020 as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Copenhagen last year.

“We are going all out to push the guidelines.

“Studies have shown that urbanization contributes more than 50% of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Our small cities and townships are getting bigger,'' Chor said after launching The Star Property Fair 2011 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center yesterday.

Also present were Star Publications (M) Bhd executive deputy chairman Datuk Vincent Lee and chief events officer Iris Tan.

A Cabinet paper on the guidelines was approved yesterday, said Chor, adding that it was a joint collaboration between his ministry and the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.

The guidelines, which would be distributed to local authorities, would promote 3R (reduce, reuse and recyle) practices as well as other environmental-friendly policies.

“We hope developers will help spur green neighborhoods by providing more cycling and walking paths to reduce vehicle use.

“The guidelines are not compulsory but it makes good business sense to do it,” he said.

Green Sabah says: Hope that this new green guidelines to reduce the greenhouse effect in the country, so that we are able to reduce the pollution rates and have a healthier, greener environment. The 3R will also help reduce waste.

UMS to produce animated cartoon series highlighting environmental issues

15th December, 2011

KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) will undertake to produce an animated cartoon series entitled ‘The Blooms’ that focuses on environmental issues.

The series would be based on the Maliau Basin Conservation Area and aims to educate the younger generation about the rich biodiversity of Sabah.

Yesterday, the university signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North Borneo Media Sdn Bhd (NBM) to embark on the project next month.

Both UMS and NBM hope to promote the cartoon not only locally but to the international markets as well and eventually turn it into a movie.

The MoU was signed by Deputy Vice Chancellor of UMS, Associate Professor Datuk Dr. Kassim Mansur and managing director of NBM, Mohammed Fikhree Abu Bakar.

Speaker of the Sabah Legislative Assembly, Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Tun Said Keruak witnessed the event.

Read more on: 

Green Sabah says: Sabah is rich with biodiversity. Younger generation should be educated on how to conserve the biodiversity hence maintaining the sustainability of our ecosystem. Hopefully this cartoon series will succeed. Support them!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

RM 6 million upgrade for Rainforest Discovery Centre

Sabah's award-winning Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) in Sandakan is set to become better next year with additional facilities, including an environmental education activity centre.

The RM6.5mil upgrading of the Sabah Forestry Department-run RDC would also include an 80m extension of its existing 147m-long treetop walkway.

Department director Datuk Sam Manna said an outdoor stage and the facility's car park would be upgraded.

Green attraction: An artist’s impression of the proposed environmental education activity centre at the Rainforest Discovery Centre that is currently under construction.

“These new developments will further enhance the standing of the RDC as a top environmental education facility in Sabah,” he said yesterday, adding that work would be completed next November.

Mannan said funding for the work was provided by grants from the federal Tourism Ministry and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

Located some 24km from San-dakan town, the RDC is located adjacent to the internationally renowned Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre.

The RDC, with its 800m trail among dipterocarp trees, is also the venue of Sabah's annual bird-watching festival.

Among the recent additions to the RDC was a new 120-seat theatre early this year.

The RDC was named the state's best tourist attraction in the nature category at last week's Sabah Tourism Awards event.

Opened in 2007, the RDC attracted some 40,000 visitors last year, Mannan said.

He also said the department had commissioned the building of a jungle lodge along the Kawag River in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, an area known for its rich wildlife.

He said the contractor had taken possession of the site and was expected to begin work on the lodge before the end of the month.

“We hope the proposed new facility will create more opportunities for forest recreation and tourism in the Lahad Datu area,” he said.


Green Sabah says: This is a good initiative from the government to help improve the Rainforest Discovery Centre. This will also help bring in more tourist to Lahad Datu, its a good activity centre for those who are interested to know more about rainforest preservation and environmental issues. 
RM6m upgrade for Rainforest Discovery Centre

Monday, December 19, 2011

Green Initiatives in Resorts

Many of our visitors come to Sabah to see our natural heritage, trek in our lush green jungles, unpolluted islands and beaches, dive in our clear waters, and visit the man of the jungle, the orang utans. Eco-tourism and international visitors bring in hard currency to the country, impressions plays an important role when they tell their friends and family about the adventures they have in Sabah, Borneo.

The resorts that we have here are beautiful and provide world class amenities to their guests. So what are they doing to promote conservation in the management of their resorts? Many hotels have lush vegetation on their premises, trees, creeper plants, scrubs, hedges, and well kept grass. It is a welcomed experience to stroll through a beautifully landscaped resort.

Are they doing enough?

Are any of our resorts certified eco-friendly? Is there even such a rating, and should it be just as important as how many stars a resort rate? How stringent are the controls the resort management implement?

Next time you visit a resort, ask them about their green initiatives. Perhaps if their guests ask them often enough, it will send the message that Going Green matters, and leads to heightened awareness. It is not just a matter of how beautiful and comfortable the resort is, it’s about sustainability.
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Water Conservation and Preservation
  • Employee Education
  • Sewage Treatment Plant


Green Sabah says: It is time for our resorts to initiate the green efforts. Eco-friendly resort certification is a good move to encourage our resorts to maintain the sustainability of our environment. It is pointless if the resorts are only look beautiful and comfortable but they don't conserve the environment. Mother nature has contributed a lot to us and it is our responsible for taking a good care of it. I bet this will attract more tourists to visit Sabah.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What is Green Technology?

 It is not difficult to understand what Green Technology is, basically, it is a  new and innovative, environment friendly technology that is created and used, at the same time conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Green Technology was some times referred as Clean technology or environmental technology.

Green Technology main goals are to find ways to produce technology that does not damage or deplete the Earth's natural resources. It is also meant as an alternative source of technology that could help reduces the use of fossil fuels, improving the health conditions of the people, animals and environment and also reducing the pollution impacts to humans and the earth.

Other than that, Green Technology also focused on manufacturing products that can be re-used or recycled so that the amount of wastes produced daily can be reduced. Not only so, social awareness from the people should also be spread out so that they could make changes in their daily life and aim for a better environment and health quality.

Well, basically this is what Green Technology is about. However, not only does the, government, businesses and large industries have to change the way they operate or manufacture, individuals like you and me can make a difference.

 Many people are unaware that the little changes they make in their daily lives can result to a big impact to the environment. So start taking small steps towards a greener future like reducing the use of resources such as papers, shut off lights and electricity appliances when not in use, carpool to reduce the use of fuel (it can help you save money too), recycle cans, paper, cartons, ink cartridges, plastic bottles etc, maximize the use of a single item to reduce waste. Bring your own green shopping bag while buying things at the grocers... These simple steps does not take much of your time and yet they can contribute significantly to the process towards a better tomorrow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sabah Art Gallery Strives to Go Green

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry hopes to see the state Art Gallery Conservation Centre to be the first Green Building Index (GBI) certified building in the state when it is completed.

The RM16 million state-funded project commenced on July 1 last year and is slated for completion on Dec 28, 2011, but the project is currently seven percent behind schedule due to the weather and might face one to three months delay.

Masidi said Sabah Art Gallery, which is temporarily sited at Sabah Museum, is expected to move into the new building within two to three months after its completion.

The building will have four levels with 33,000 square feet of space, and will house a conservation and artwork storage, exhibition galleries, office, a library and meeting facilities, among others. 

Read more on:

Green Sabah says: It is good to hear that Sabah will have its own first Green Building Index (GBI) certified building soon. Although the project is a bit behind the schedule, we just hope that everything will be well. The Art Gallery Conservation Centre is a good place to promote the artworks of our talented artists besides conserving them. This place will be one of the tourism attraction in the future and also can be art education centre for the students. It's interesting isn't it?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Types of Green Technology

Previously we discussed about what Green Technology is all about, today we shall discuss further about the various types of Green Technology:

1.Energy- Which is the most important and urgent concerns of green technology. There are more and more needs for energy generation methods which are more efficient, greener and better for the people and environment. Many country has been rejecting or reducing the use of fossil fuels and coals as these resources are getting lesser in the world and not to mention they are rather polluting as well. Some of the more favorable methods are those like hydro-powered generators, wind turbines and solar power which are able to produce cleaner energy without wasting resources.

2.Building- Green building is an innovative way for greener living. Environmental friendly materials such as recycled glass, bamboo in replace of wood, energy efficient technology and designs. Environmentally responsible and resource efficient process are used to build green building from designing, constructing, operating, maintenance, renovating and demolition. Other than that, there are also issues such as using energy, water and other resources efficiently, reducing waste, pollution and improving employees productivity and health.

3.Preferred Purchasing- This is where business and manufactures finds new ways of producing products which have the smallest impact on the environment. While consumers purchasing products that are more environmentally friendly.

4.Chemistry- Nowadays more companies are discovering greener alternatives for the previously environmentally harmful chemical products. It is also known as sustainable chemistry to encourage the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry seeks to prevent and reduce pollution at is source and avoid problems before they happens.

5.Nanotechnology- It involves manipulating the materials to the smallest nanometer to best implement greener principles in the fields. It enhance the environmental-sustainability of processes and also improve sustainability. This could help minimize the potential environment and human health risk which is associated with the manufacture and use of nanotechnology products and to encourage the replacement of existing products with new nano-products that are more environmentally friendly throughout their lifecycle.


Go Green : CM to Tourism Operators

Tourism players in Sabah should go green by coming up with eco-friendly products and services to keep up with the growing trend among travellers opting for tour operators, resorts and hotels that are able to keep their carbon footprint low, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He said that the green efforts could help to resolve adverse environmental issues frequently attributable to tourist inflows.

"I realise it will not be easy to do this overnight and I hope that you will at least start by taking small steps that will eventually accumulate to make a big difference," he said in his speech at the World Tourism Conference (WTC) 2010 closing ceremony here today.

His speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Musa said by keeping up with trends especially on sustainability, tourism assets could be protected and able to meet visitor's expectation.

"The tourism industry is dynamic and highly sensitive to changing visitor perceptions and needs. Visitors have become more knowledgeable with many carrying out their own research through the Internet to determine their choice of destinations," he said.

Musa said tourism in Sabah had steadily grown into an industry that was making significant contribution to the state and national economies through smart partnerships between federal government, private sector and many other stakeholders including local communities.

"This is reflected by the diversification of tourism products and growth of visitor arrivals. In 2009 we recorded 2.24 million arrivals generating RM3.87 billion in tourism receipts.

"As of August this year, we recorded 1.59 million arrivals, an increase of 7.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Our target is to attract 2.36 million visitors this year and by 2020, we hope there will be 4.5 million people visiting us," he said. - Bernama


Green Sabah says: Tourism is very important in Sabah as it is one of the main source for this state's income. By promoting green efforts, it will help to boost the tourism industry too. Be part of it. Each and everyone must play their role to support this green efforts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saving Marine Life with Artificial Reefs

Marine life and fish stock in Sabah has been falling at an alarming rate in the past 10 years. DCM Datuk Yahya Hussin has been sinking numerous artificial reefs into the sea to ensure that the fishes and other marine life will breed abundantly.

The official statistics showed that the fishes have dropped by a worrying rate of 92% over the last 36 years from 2.5 tonnes per square kilometre in 1979 to 210kg in 2007. The Sabah fishery industry will face a serious threats if fish yields drops by 15% every 10 years.

The reason for the reduction of fish numbers are due to over fishing activities and the use of fish bombs and cyanide as fishing methods. Some Sabah prized species such as parrot fish, groupers, snappers and sharks are now facing extinction from these irresponsible actions.

About RM400,000 ringgit worth of concrete reefs that are reinforced with steel have been recently sunk into the sea off Putatan, these artificial reefs can last for 50 years. The Sabah government has spent slightly more than RM4 million on artificial reefs that was dropped into the waters off Kota Kinabalu, Beaufort, Tuaran, Kudat, Sandakan and Tawau.

The artificial reefs begins to teem with marine life in about 4 months time, which is faster than marine biologist thought possible. By dropping artificial reefs in the water, this would keep the local 24,000 fishermen in work and assured that the people will continue to have an abundance of seafood.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

SESB appoints Sabahan managing director

The first Sabahan managing director in SESB was appointed Decemeber 1. Abdul Razak Salim, born in Labuan is the first Sabahan to be appointed since SESB was privatized in 1998 and he is alsothe fifth managing directors of the company. Abdul Razak would be replacing Datuk Baharin Din who has been promoted to assume a post in TNB in KL.

Baharin is confident that SESB will be further strengthened by Abdul Razak's leadership.
Abdul Razak first started his career as an electrical engineer in 1986 when it was still Lembaga letrik Sabah (LLS). He was a degree holder in electrical engineering from England and a professional engineer, before his appointment as managing director, he was previously SESB's senior general manager.

Baharin also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Sabah State Government, Government linked agencies, departments, relevant quarters as well as the media for the close cooperation rendered to SESB which allowed the improvement of the electricity supply in Sabah. It is hoped that the cooperation will be continued for the interests and proseperity of the state and its people.

Let's hope that the cooperation of the state and federal government and all SESB staffs, the company will be able to continue to deliver the better services to the people.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sabah has one of richest biodiversities - JICA

Sabah has one of the richest biodiversities in the world with an area of 59 per cent covered by forests, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) chief representative in Malaysia, Tsutomo Nagae. However, he said, it was faced with the threat of extinction due to the rapid economic development in the state.

As such, biodiversity conservation measures were considered necessary to be implemented as soon as possible in order to improve the situation, he said in his remarks at the closing of the Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) at 1Borneo, near here, today.

Nagae said the Japanese government, through JICA, strongly committed itself to biodiversity conservation and had implemented the Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation (BBEC) programme in Sabah since 2002, in cooperation with various implementing agencies including the Sabah government and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

On the first phase of BBEC, he said the project focused on technology transfer with regard to building up the monitoring and research skills of different agencies, while the second phase focused on policy aspect by linking conservation activities with the decision-making process.

Read more on : 

Green Sabah says: Biodiversity is threatened not only when species are made extinct, but also when the dynamics are disturbed. Conserving biodiversity is thus a delicate balancing act that many international and national bodies are striving to master. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Musa Aman said that Sabah has achieved remarkable success in protecting its forests and biodiversity through the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

24 degree celsius for Air Conditioner

Green Sabah says: From my previous post on Going Green in the Office , I'm going to explain more about why should we set our air-conditioner to 24 degree Celsius and above? By taking this small step, it could help you save energy for your house or office and at the same time save resources from power generating. Not only so, reducing the temperature of your air-conditioner can help slow down the global climate change. Global warming is a major issue throughout the world now, all of us can play a role in making a change to protect and preserve this earth we lived in. As far as I know, the Malaysian government has taken the initiative to urge all government office to set their air-conditioner to a minimum of 24 degrees, the private sectors was also encourage to do so. Read more about the move:

Minimum 24 Degree Celsius ruling for office

PUTRAJAYA: All government offices will have to observe minimum air-conditioning temperature of 24 degrees Celsius soon.
Energy, Green Technology & Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said the energy saving step would come into force once a circular on it is issued by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

“The Prime Minister has instructed that in the interests of energy efficiency, all government offices must observe the directive (minimum 24 degrees Celsius) for air-conditioning.
“Exceptions will be given for critical places like hospitals where low temperatures are necessary,” he told a joint press conference with Natural Resources & Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Unggah Embas here yesterday.

Earlier, the two ministers had attended a meeting of the National Green Energy & Climate Change Council, which was chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Perdana Putra Building here.
Commenting further, Peter said the temperature (24 degree Celsius) was suitable for office work and could also help reduce energy bills overall.

“We are setting 24 degree Celsius. If were to drop by one degree to 23 degrees Celsius, it means we have to increase expenditure from four to seven per cent,” he said.
He said the step had already been taken at his ministry and it had helped reduce the energy bill up to RM700,000 a year.

He added that the ministry was also drafting a bill on the same to get the private sector to follow suit.
“We hope by 2013, all privately-owned buildings will follow this ruling,” he said, adding that at the meeting, the Prime Minister also asked all government departments to change conventional light bulbs in stages to energy saving ones.

The Prime Minister also asked for a detailed ‘road map’ on green technology development for the country, he said.On the government’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, Douglas said the effort was on track and that the target would be achieved on time. 
“To date, we have reduced intensity by 29.7 million metric tonnes. To meet the 40 per cent target, we need to reduce by 40 million metric tonnes. This is our contribution to global efforts on the world’s climate changes,” he said.

Going Green At Work

There are many ways you can contribute to protect the environment, even while in the work place. These simple methods can help the company save energies and resources:

  1. Make it a habit to turn of lights if there are no one is in a room for more than 15 minutes. Use natural sunlight if possible so that there is less need for artificial lights
  2. Use energy saving light bulbs which uses less electricity than normal lighting.
  3. Switch off computers when not in use or set your computer to sleep mode to save energy while you're away on a short while. 
  4. While using the printer or photocopier, make sure to print on both side of the paper to reduce waste. Think before you print, sometimes its not necessary to print it out. 
  5. Use recycle bin in the office for papers, cans, ink cartridge and more. You can even sell it for some petty cash. 
  6. Bring your own reusable containers whenever you take out lunch to reduce the use of polystyrene boxes. 
  7. Bring your own reusable water bottles rather than buying mineral water everyday, not only does it saves you money, it is also better for the environment. RM1 for a bottle of water for 6 days a week would rake up to RM288 per year! 
  8. Turn up the air-conditioner to no less than 24 degrees to be more energy efficient.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coal Plants Scrapped

The government of Sabah announced that they had killed a plan to build a controversial 300-megawatt coal-fired plant in the tourism-driven eco-paradise. The plant had been proposed to help meet the state's energy shortages, which regularly inflict brownouts on Sabah's 3 million residents. Instead, Sabah will tap its relatively abundant store of natural gas. 

That's not the cutting-edge renewable-energy portfolio environmentalists consider ideal, but it's certainly cleaner than coal. And because the state's vast clean-energy potential is still largely undeveloped, it's the most immediate practical solution to the growing local power needs. Officials anticipate a 7.7% annual increase in demand through 2020. 

Imperfect though the natural-gas solution may be, it marks a huge course change toward clean energy in Malaysia, says Daniel Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley, who directed an energy and environmental-impact study commissioned by a coalition of green groups, which was used widely in the discussions of Sabah's energy options. "It is a turning point that should bring deserved praise and partnerships to Malaysia at the upcoming climate conference in Durban, South Africa," says Kammen, now the chief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency at the World Bank. 

This is the third defeat for the proposed coal-fired plant — which would have been Sabah's first such facility — in three years. The first two proposals were shot down by the federal Department of Environment and local opposition. And even though the latest one seemed to be heading in that direction after it failed a detailed environmental-impact assessment in August, anticoal activists nevertheless worried it would eventually be approved because it was slated for federal land and had the backing of the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Sabah's chief minister, Musa Aman made the official announcement of the coal-fired plant's cancellation on Wednesday. That move followed a recent National Economic Advisory Council meeting attended by federal and state officials, including Najib and Musa. The decision was made in part, Musa said, because "the government under the Prime Minister's leadership is a government that always listens to the voices and feels the pulse of the people."

Maybe. But after a three-year campaign to get those voices heard, Sabah's environmental activists might beg to differ. Nevertheless, they're reveling in what is an unusual victory. Activism isn't exactly common in Sabah.
"I don't think there had ever been such a movement [in Sabah] over any other issue before," says Cynthia Ong, who heads one of the five environmental organizations that collaborated on the anticoal campaign. "The groundswell of dissent, which started local and became international, was a key piece."
High-profile environmental organizations like promoted Sabah's anticoal message. Some international media coverage didn't hurt either. Environmentalists don't fear a fourth site being proposed down the road.
"I think coal power is dead for Sabah," Ong says. "We are certainly going to do everything we can to ensure that."

Green Sabah Says: Although this news isn't new, but I'm still glad that the Sabah State Government had scrapped the coal plants project in Sabah after many disagreements from the Sabahans. This shows that our voices are heard by the government. Hope that Sabah will adapt greener technology for power generation within the states such as wind power, solar power and other alternative sources of energy in order to improve the electricity shortage within the state.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Toilet Cleanliness Campaign

"Sanitarian is not a dirty word; it is a critical factor in human welfare and sustainable development. We need to put the spotlight on this silent crisis." - Mr. Sha Zukang, Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

Environmental Action Centre (EAC) is spearheading a campaign to harness the collective commitment by Malaysians and foreign visitors to raise the standard of hygiene and cleanliness of all public toilets in Sabah. A clean toilet is the answer to a gracious society. It speaks volumes of our concern and respect for others and for public property. A dirty public toilet is no different to vandalism and every individual owes a duty to leave the toilet clean for the next user.

EAC will forge a three-pronged cooperation between the public, private and people sectors (3Ps) to generate a greater level of awareness for the need to raise the standard and quality of our public toilets. We will work closely with the Kota Kinabalu City Council, other district Municipal Councils, NGOs, the media, schools and the tourism industry by complementing existing efforts to make changes in the dirty toilet crisis.


Green Sabah says: Dirty toilet, is this because of their ignorance, indifference or upbringing? Nobody likes to clean up someone else’s mess and so it makes sense for everyone to clean up after themselves throughout the day to maintain a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Green reminder (^^,)

Do you still remember the Bring Your Own Bag Days Campaign?

Bring Your Own Bag Days Campaign aims to reduce the usage of plastic bags during shopping activities. The 3R (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) concept is being applied in this campaign. It hopes to encourage people to practice a lifestyle of using the reusable shopping bags, non-woven, or eco-bags whenever going shopping.

The campaign started in June 2010 with charging an amount of 20 cents for every request of plastic bags on every Monday then; in January 2011 it was expanded to Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The collection will be utilized for Environmental Education and Public Awareness Programme. 

Green Sabah says: Bring Your Own Bag Days Campaign had been implemented for more than a year. So, how far did we practice this campaign? Don't forget to bring your green-bags. Love our environment and reduce the usage of plastic bags!

Southeast Asia Green Model- Sabah

16th November, 2011
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is poised to become a model for Southeast Asian countries in sustainable forest management.

United Nations resident coordinator for Malaysia and United Nations resident representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, Kamal Malhotra said Sabah remained a very important place to demonstrate the concept of sustainable development not only in Malaysia but also within Southeast Asia.

“What is going on here is closely monitored by those who are interested in sustainable development. We will support the government of Sabah in managing its forest through Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).”

He told this to reporters at the launch of the International Conference on Sabah Heart of Borneo Green Economy and Development – Engaging Business for Environment, here, yesterday.

Earlier, in his welcoming remarks, Malhotra said the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) would take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for three days from June 4, next year.

He said the main objectives of the summit were to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development, to assess the progress towards internationally-agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges.
The summit, which is also referred to as Rio+20 because of the initial landmark conference, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio in 1992, will also focus on the issue of green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Malhotra said a number of critical issues were emerging in the lead-up to the summit based on the discussions so far.

These include the lack of consensus on the meaning of green economy, the importance of the private sector’s role in the transition to a green economy, and the need for the UNCSD or Rio+20 to produce a set of principles to guide the transition to a green economy.

Meanwhile, Kamal said the significance of Sabah’s biodiversity is duly recognised in the Heart of Borneo Initiative.

He stated that managing a multiple-use forest landscape remained a challenge and its success required enormous effort if an optimal balance among competing land usage in terms of social, ecological and economic objectives is to be achieved.

“UNDP is currently developing a project with the Sabah Forestry Department to address this challenge with the objective of institutionalising a multiple-use forest landscape planning and management model,” said Kamal.

“This will bring the management of critical protected areas and connecting landscape under a common management umbrella and the implementation will be sustainably funded by revenues generated within the area,” he added.

Green Sabah says: Good job to Sabah for becoming a model among the Southeast Asian countries in Sustainable Forest Management. Hope that the government and the Sabah Forestry Department will continue to work hard to address the deforestation problem and establishing a good forestry management model.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sabah First in Asia to ban Shark Trade

Campaign heats up to save millions of sharks from being killed for food
By Oliver Majaham
Pictures by Ille Tugimin
Sharks evolved 400m years ago to keep oceans healthy. As predators, they rule the underwater world. But they are losing a battle against man. The latest score: Sharks have killed 13 people so far this year. Man kills 73m of them every year largely for their fins which are turned into a culinary delicacy in Asia. Now environmentalists are stepping up a worldwide campaign to stop people from eating them. And Sabah may become the first in Asia to ban shark hunting next year.
Shark finning in Taiwain. <i>Picture: Pew Environmental Group</i>Shark finning in Taiwain. Picture: Pew Environmental Group
The world trade in shark fins is about 2.5 billion ringgit ($800m) a year. There are no figures for Sabah’s. But divers have complained that they are seeing fewer sharks in Layang Layang, off Labuan Island, home to the badly endangered hammerhead sharks. Other shark haunts are Lankayan Island, Roach Reef and Sipadan Island off Sabah’s east coast.
Hazel OakleyHazel Oakley
Hazel Oakley of the Green Connection, an aquarium and science centre in Kota Kinabalu, says 98% of sharks have been killed in South-East Asia.
Masidi Manjun, Sabah’s minister of tourism, environment and culture, now wants laws to ban shark hunting and finning next year to save the north Borneo island state’s diving and tourism industry. The diving business is worth 195m ringgit a year and gives jobs to 2,000 people. The Sabah government has already banned shark fin soup, the most popular and prized delicacy, from its luncheons and dinners.

The government will add sharks to its list of protected endangered animals and mammals under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997. A wildlife department official says this will mean that sharks cannot be hunted, killed, finned or traded. This law also protects the rare Sumatran rhinoceros and the orang-utans.
But Masidi wants the federal government to place sharks on the list of protected species under the Fisheries Act of 1985 that will outlaw shark hunting and finning in Sabah waters. This is to avoid legal disputes since federal laws override state laws.
Shark fins are dried in the sun. <i>Picture: Pew Environmental Group</i>Shark fins are dried in the sun. Picture: Pew Environmental Group
“It makes economic sense to us to ban shark hunting and finning to protect our tourism industry,” he said at the launch of a campaign against shark fin soup in Kota Kinabalu last month.
“It is in keeping with sustainable tourism. If we continue to eat sharks, sooner or later they will disappear from this part of the world. Our priority is to save whatever remaining sharks in Sabah waters. The sooner we get it done the better.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed 233 shark species on its Red List. Twelve are “critically endangered” and 126 of them risk extinction.
Taiwan has just announced that it will ban shark finning next year, starting in September. But it stops short of banning shark catching and a lucrative shark trade. Critics say sharks can still be sold in Taiwan minus the fins. The difficulty is proving who sliced off the fins, they say. About 4m sharks are caught off Taiwan waters yearly, making the island the biggest of the top ten shark hunting countries which include America, Argentina, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan and Spain.

So, Malaysia looks likely to be the first Asian country to ban the shark trade once it protects them by law. 

Insight Sabah
Posted on 02-11-2011 03:21 pm

Green Sabah says: I'm proud to hear that Sabah may be the first to ban shark trade in Asia, sharks have been widely hunted for their fins and flesh throughout the world and they are slowly going towards extinction. If we don't do something about it now, soon Sharks will die out and this will upset the ecosystem balance. Hope that more countries will start banning shark hunting in Asia and maybe whale hunting too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Biomass can produce new high value industries: Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said yesterday the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), along with BiotechCorp and related agencies will roll out a Bioeconomy roadmap for Malaysia by early next year.

The upcoming initiative will complement the National Biotechnology Policy.

“Some of the focus areas our Bioeconomy roadmap will be looking at are Extracts, BioFeeds, BioControl, BioFertilisers, Genomics, BioSimilars and BioIndustrials,” he said in his keynote at the BioMalaysia 2011 Conference & Exhibition here.

The event was also co-organised with the 6th Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy which was held for the first time outside the US.

During the event, Najib also unveiled the country’s Biomass Strategy, themed “Biomass to Wealth”, which will see the creation of new high value industries and 70,000 jobs of which 40,000 will be high-skilled.

By 2020 the Biomass Strategy will generate RM30 billion in new income for Malaysia, he said.

As the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, he added, Malaysia generates a lot of biomass, which holds tremendous potential for high value added applications ranging from biofuels to bioplastics from cellulosic feed stock.

With an estimated value of US$11.14 billion in 2015, biomass is targeted to be a vital contributor to the agricultural and industrial biotechnology sectors.

The strategy is developed by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) in close collaboration with related government agencies, universities and business leaders.


Green Sabah says: Biomass industries will generate more job opportunities in the future. Those who are interested working in this industry should equip themselves with biomass knowledge and industry skills. In terms of environmental, biomass can help mitigate climate change; reduce acid rain; prevent soil erosion and water pollution; minimize pressure on landfills; provide wildlife habitat; and, help maintain forest health through better management. Sabah, which produces about one third or 5.4 million tonnes of the total country’s crude palm oil of 17.5 million tonnes annually, has a lot of raw materials readily available to be used for the biomass industry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sabah developers interested on green buildings

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah developers are keen to participate in green building development after getting a clearer picture of the costs involved.

Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association president Datuk Susan Wong said it was ready to promote and en-courage green building development which would save on energy and other costs in the long run.

“Green building involves all sorts of technology. For example, heat can be reduced considerably with the orientation of a building to avoid facing the sun and with large windows,” said Wong.

At the recent opening of the International Property Exhibition, Wong had called for a reduction in Green Building Index (GBI) certification fees.

Yesterday, however, she said the fees were fair, adding that she was initially misguided on the GBI certification fee formula and that the RM5,000 and above charge were for bungalows.

Wong said the fee for a typical 172 sq meters double-storey terrace house was as low as RM100.

“For development of 1,000 units of double-storey terrace houses, the fee would be as low as RM65 per unit. For a 500-unit housing development, the GBI certification fee is RM90 per unit while the fee is RM200 each for those between 50 to 100 units,” she said.

She said developers in the state were keen to have their projects certified as green buildings due to the growing demand.
Green Sabah says: Developers must be well-informed with the advantages of green building in order to promote green building development. Besides imposing the GBI certification fee, there should be an approach for green roof as well.

REDD-plus action in Sabah

PARTICIPANTS at the two-day Heart of Borneo (H0B) international conference on green economy in Kota Kinabalu (Nov 15-16) witnessed the signing of a Note of Cooperation between the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) and the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (ARSM) to map Sabah’s forest cover for the purpose of implementing REDD-plus programmes in the state.

Under this cooperation, ARSM would help to assess the forest cover in Sabah using satellite images captured in 1990, 2000 and 2010 which would be based on four classes of forest areas – dry inland, peat swamp, mangrove and plantation.

REDD stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation and REDD-Plus also covers carbon enhancement activities such as sustainable forest management (SFM), reduced impact logging (RIL), and forest restoration.

The SFD was represented at the signing ceremony by its director Datuk Sam Mannan while ARSM director Datuk Darus Ahmad signed on behalf of the agency.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mannan said the HoB series of conference started in 2009 with the topic on “Connectivity and Corridors,” building up to the second one in 2010 focusing on ‘REDD-plus”, and  one this year is entitled, “Sabah Heart of Borneo (HoB) Green Economy & Development: Engaging Business for Environment’.

The HoB international conference last year, also held in Kota Kinabalu, paid particular attention to,‘Forests and Climate Change: Decoding and Realizing REDD-plus in the Heart of Borneo, with Specific Focus on Sabah’.

“We hold these conferences for good reason and one such important advance made arising from them are the realization of the Sabah REDD-plus and Road Map,” said Mannan.

In March 2010 Vincent Piket, the ambassador and head of the European Union’s Delegation to Malaysia confirmed that member states of the EU would finance a three-year programme in Sabah related to reducing of emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), starting this year.

Piket (left), who is on the panel of speakers at this year’s conference, said the project, costing four million Euros (about RM17m) would also cover carbon enhancement activities like sustainable forest management, reduced impact logging (RIL), and forest restoration etc, often referred to as REDD+.

This year’s HoB conference also saw the launching by the Malaysian Chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) its Heart of Borneo Green Business Network, a new initiative for rallying the private sector towards conserving and protecting the environment.

WWF-Malaysia Executive Director and CEO, Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma, said the Green Business Network (GBN) was part of their effort to encourage business entities to assume the leading role towards creating greener economic growth.

“We know that we cannot save the valuable Heart of Borneo forests without the support of the private sector. We’re reconfirming our commitment to work together with business towards green growth,” he said.

The GBN is aimed at raising awareness and to act as a catalyst in sustainability within the private sector in the context of a green economy in the HoB, providing tools and support to those companies willing to lead towards a future in which people and nature thrive.

Speaking at the launch at the close of the conference on Nov 16, Sabah forestry director Datuk Sam Mannan said it was fitting to close two days of intense conference discussion on green economy with an equally intense and more importantly practical initiative, which aims to support the participation of businesses.

A report entitled ‘Green Business Solutions – Delivering the Heart of Borneo Declaration’, is the result of six months of intensive research and interviews of nearly 200 businesses.The report found that only 54 per-cent of the respondents had heard of the trilateral government-led Heart of Borneo Declaration, many were willing to be involved and felt that business would have an important role to play once they had more information on the HoB and the opportunities offered by a green economic approach.
Over 40 per cent of the Heart of Borneo’s area is currently managed by the forestry, palm oil and mining sectors.

According to WWF’s HoB Initiative team leader, Adam Tomasek, it was necessary to create practical economic arguments for conservation and develop solutions that show how the biodiversity, forests and ecosystems of the HoB can become the engines for green growth and sustainability into the future.

The HoB Declaration was signed by the governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia in February 2007 to protect an area of more than 220,000 square kilometres in the centre of the island of Borneo and bordering all three of the countries.

These tropical rainforests have strategic, global, national and local functions, not only for citizens of the three countries but for the human race throughout the world.

It is supported under important regional and international agreements such as Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

Green Sabah says: The HoB bio-diversities, ecosystem and forestry can be the driving point of green growth and sustainability in Sabah's future, if only there is cooperation and support from all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

WWF launches green business network

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has launched the Malaysian chapter of its Heart of Borneo Green Business Network, a new initiative for rallying the private sector towards conserving and protecting the environment.

WWF-Malaysia Executive Director and CEO, Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma, said the Green Business Network (GBN) was part of their effort to encourage business entities to assume the leading role towards creating greener economic growth.

“We know that we cannot save the valuable Heart of Borneo forests without the support of the private sector. Tonight, we’re reconfirming our commitment to work together with business towards green growth,” he said.
The launch was held here last night in conjunction with the International Conference on ‘Sabah Heart of Borneo Green Economy and Development: Engaging Business for Environment’, one of the largest green economy conferences ever held in the region.

The GBN was aimed at raising awareness and to act as a catalyst in sustainability within the private sector in the context of a green economy in the Heart of Borneo (HoB), providing tools and support to those companies willing to lead towards a future in which people and nature thrive.
Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) director Datuk Sam Mannan when speaking at the launch, said it was fitting to close two days of intense conference discussion on green economy with an equally intense and more importantly practical initiative, which aims to support the participation of businesses.
A report entitled: ‘Green Business Solutions – Delivering the Heart of Borneo Declaration’, the result of six months of intensive research and interviews of nearly 200 businesses, was also released during the launch.
The report found that only 54 per-cent of the respondents had heard of the trilateral government-led Heart of Borneo Declaration, many were willing to be involved and felt that business would have an important role to play once they had more information on the HoB and the opportunities offered by a green economic approach.
“This is why we are launching the Green Business Network this evening, to support businesses that want to be on the leading edge of an emerging new green economy in the HoB,” said Dr Sharma.
Over 40 per cent of the Heart of Borneo’s area is currently managed by the forestry, palm oil and mining sectors.

According to WWF’s HoB Initiative team leader, Adam Tomasek, it was necessary to create practical economic arguments for conservation and develop solutions that show how the biodiversity, forests and ecosystems of the HoB can become the engines for green growth and sustainability into the future.
“The Business Solutions report outlines a number of sector specific opportunities which can lead to low carbon and sustainable practices, developed together with businesses operating in the HoB,” he said.
The report is complemented by the Green Business Network and website, which is dedicated to collaborating and communicating the information that companies need to build green businesses in the HoB.
Mr Sanjeev Chadha, CEO of Sabah Forest Industries and speaker at the Green Economy conference, said the setting up of the GBN was highly welcomed; it would help the private sector learn from each other’s experience and assist in the development of cost effective solutions to green economy business challenges.
An HoB Declaration was signed by the governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia in February 2007 to protect an area of more than 220,000 square kilometres in the centre of the island of Borneo and bordering all three countries.

The declaration emphasized that these tropical rainforests have strategic, global, national and local functions, not only for citizens of the three countries but for the global human race.
It is supported under important regional and international agreements such as Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

Green Sabah says: The private sectors, the Non-governmental Organizations and the government all played an important role in going green. This is a good initiative to encourage more private sectors to be involved in Green Business. Hopefully with the cooperation with all walks of life, we are able to take steps to achieve a greener and cleaner Sabah.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Forms Of Green Technology

Green technology can come in many different types. These are the three most substantial ones: Energy, Building and Purchasing.

Green Energy is the generated energy from green sources like wind, tide and solar. The advantages of these is there is slightly to no carbon produced in the initial creation of the energy. So, we can use as much energy as we want without having to worry about the carbon footprint we produce.

Green Building is the process of building houses and offices that are conducive. It means is the building are built using eco-friendly products with low thermal emissions. From this, electricity bills can be reduced. As the consumption of electricity is lower, the carbon footprint is lower too.

Purchasing green products is the way most of us can right way reduce our carbon footprint. The combination of doing many things well can result in huge changes. 
Sabah Chief Minister, Musa Aman claims that green economy can benefits the environment and economy. Green technology is also a part of this.

Therefore, let's go green guys!

Green economy the way to go

CM Musa Aman claims the green economy is a win-win arrangement which benefits both the environment and the economy through well managed utilization of the natural environment which will in turn allows the conservation of the natural resources.

Based on the UNEP report, an average of 13 million hectares of tropical forests are disappearing annually, which equals to six billion tonnes of carbon dioxide being released to the atmosphere.

Sabah has begun to diversify its economy to promote downstream processing of crude palm oil plantations covering 1.5 million hectares of land. Other similar sectors will also focus on downstreaming those such as oil and gas, tourism and coal-free energy.

The economic transformation programme has identified 56 early point projects to be taken over by the private sector which would generate about RM25 billion worth of investments, and creating 200,000 job opportunities, in the mean time, it would also raise the state's gross national income per capita to USD10,000 by 2020.

The UNEP strategy on forest is in line with the concept of sustainable forest management (SFM) that is practiced in Sabah. We generate knowledge of multiple forest uses, engaging initiatives to protect forests, adopt fiscal and economic policies and mobilizing public and private investment for our forests. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Solar Hybrid System - Great Green Technology

Solar hybrid system is one of the way that practising green technology. The sun becomes the main source to supply the energy and solar hybrid system helps in converting the sun's rays into electricity. That is why they are more green and more environmentally friendly when compared the diesel generator.

Green technology and sustainability are the future. Its objective is to preserve the environment, especially the climate of the earth by reducing the amount of carbon monoxide. That is why solar hybrid system must be a great part of this.

Sabah State Government is now initiating the green technology and they recently had provided electricity through the constructions of a solar hybrid system at Kampung Tanjung Batu Latu and Kampung Tanjung Batu Darat .

Therefore, more allocations are needed to implement this solar hybrid system in Sabah since grid connection for energy is not accessible due to geographical circumstances.

Solar Hybrid System for Villages

The Sabah State Government had recently provided Kampung Tanjung Batu Latu and Kampung Tanjung Batu Darat with continuous electricity through the constructions of a solar hybrid system.

The System comprises of a solar farm and battery storage facility that collects and generates energy during the day, when no solar source is available, there is a diesel generator as a part of the system.With the solar hybrid system, villagers can now say good bye to the diesel powered electricity generators that requirers regular maintenance and costly fuel supply and could only run for six to eight hours a day. This solar hybrid system has improve the villagers living conditions significantly, now they can own televisions, refridgerators and washing machines as there are consistent supply of electricity to their homes.

This is also one of the ways under the GTP's Rural Basic Infrastructure (RBI) NKRA, where the state government will help provide electricity supply to those who are living in rural areas where the grid connection for energy is not accessible due to geographical circumstances. Other efforts under the programme are such as building and upgrading the rural roads, supply of clean and treated water and housing assistance programme.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Green Economy Initiatives in Sabah

The state government receives compliment for taking pro-active steps and a leading role in promoting a green economy while exploring the potential of implementing it in Sabah.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said Sabah has contributed a lot to ensure the environment is protected by practising sustainable manner when dealing in business. 

Uggah said that the government will make sure that the close cooperation among all the relevant agencies will continue to adopt the green economy via sustainable forest management in Sabah.

He was glad that a Note of Cooperation was signed between Sabah Forestry Department and the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (ARSM) which indicated the start of a 5-year cooperation to map Sabah’s forest cover for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) Plus Implementation programme.

Uggah also hoped the execution of a green economy would be given priority, especially when doing business with other countries.

Sabah's success in forestry protection

Chief Minister Musa Aman said that Sabah has achieved remarkable success in protecting its forests and biodiversity through the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

The SFM's approach that prioritised knowledge, vision, enabling conditions and finance was in line with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) strategy on forests to realize contributions by forests to a green economy.

Some of the success examples are the Deramakot Forest Reserve which has been certified as a well-managed forest under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification scheme. Sabah was able to expand sustainable forest management for statewide application in 1997, and created job and revenue while preserving our forests and biodiversities at the same time.

The Ulu Segama-Malua project which covers some 240,000 hectares of production forest reserves for natural forest management and Orang Utan conservation is another example. Not only so, Sabah is also involved in the Malua Bio-bank, a pioneering public-private partnership on innovative conservation finance.

These initiatives were the proof that the Sabah government was achieving pay-offs form its green management programmes and signifies the viability of a green economy. It shows that Sabah is committed to the trans-boundary initiatives.

We hope to see more success in the journey towards a greener Sabah.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cleanliness is a Shared Responsibility

Conveying the message at a gotong-royong to clean up the beach,  Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir said a lot of public complaints on the unsatisfactory cleanliness level at Anjung Perdana, especially the smelly drains has been made to the City Hall.

Abidin stressed that maintaining the cleanliness at Tanjung Aru is very crucial because this place is popular for the locals and tourist from abroad.

Eatery operators as well as fruit hawkers at the Tanjung Aru Beach here were reminded to practice proper garbage disposal, instead of dumping them indiscriminately into the drains or on the beach in order to keep the place clean always.

It was part of the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) “5-Ks Program” to salvage the rapidly deteriorating image of Tanjung Aru Beach as a “must visit place” for both the local residents and visitors.

The 5-Ks refer to “Kebersihan” (Cleanliness), “Keindahan” (Beauty), “Keselamatan” (Security), “Keteraturan” (Orderliness) and “Kesejahteraan” (Peace).

Abidin also advised members of the public to do not litter the place indiscriminately. 

"It is devastating to see the beach was still littered with garbage like foods and drinks containers, cigarette butts even though provision of sufficient garbage bins," he said.

Therefore, he reminded that the maintenance of cleanliness of the place is not solely a responsibility of the DBKK, but a shared responsibility among the residents of Kota Kinabalu City.

While elaborating on the idea and objectives of the 5-Ks Concept, he noted that the gotong-royong exercise was a beginning for the various follow-up actions and strategies that had been identified to enable the Tanjung Aru Beach to achieve the 5-Ks status.

Among the follow-up actions that had been identified are:
1. Improvement of the cleanliness level of the beach;
2. Upgrading of the landscaping through planting of more trees;
3. Improvement of the security aspect by improving the public-safety features such as the lighting facilities, and to conduct regular security patrols;
4. To improve the orderliness of the place especially the hawkers stalls and eateries; and
5. All other actions which required the cooperation and involvement of all quarters.

EU can help support Renewable Energy Development

During the Dinner Reception for a visiting EU delegation in Sabah, CM Datuk Seri Musa Aman has called for support from the European Nation to help develop renewable energy and green technologies in Sabah. The power supply issue is critical in Sabah, although the Federal government agreed to utilize more gas for Sabah's electricity needs, we still need to find solutions through renewable energy and green technologies. CM Musa Aman said the European Union might be able to help if they are willing to extend technical collaborations and capacity building.

The Sabah state government encourages oil palm planters within the state to become a part of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and adhere to its guidelines. Meanwhile, the state government has also initiated the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) to support the downstream manufacturing and research the potentials from palm oil.Sabah is currently pursuing the use of biomass waste to generate electricity. The Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) is also one of the government's commitment to ensure sustainability and to protect Sabah's rich heritage. Other than that, the Sustainable Forest Management are also working to rehabilitate degraded forest, conserving and cease logging in various parts of the state.

Sabah would like to see greater interaction between the EU and Sabah in fields such as education, capacity building, exchange of information and human resource development.