Sabah is the first state to initiate a State Environmental Policy after the National Policy on the Environment was adopted in 2002.
It was formulated to take into account the importance of environmental stewardship and for the State to practise environmental governance.
The action plans for the Sabah State Policy on the Environment will be implemented for 15 years from 2018 to 2033. It's three objectives are to provide a vision for environmental conditions and standards, an environmental framework for regulatory mechanisms, and guidance for all decision makers and implementing agencies in the execution of the mandates and duties.
The policy principles are based on clean air, healthy rivers and forests, productive land, bountiful seas and cohesive communities.
"The formulation of the policy is timely for Sabah in view of the need to improve environmental performance in all sectors of the State economy as well as society," Musa said.
He said the State's robust economic developments have depended closely on the use of natural resources which have brought immense benefits to society.
"Thus the State Government has continuously endeavoured to harmonise the escalating challenges in the management of the environment and the natural resources," he said, adding that the environmental problems faced today were increasingly complex and require a broader cross sectoral and societal response.
The processes of getting views and opinions from all stakeholders started as early as 2011 and the policy formulation process was completed in 2014, he said, adding that it outlined strategies and actions plans based on five thematic aspects of the environment namely land, air, water, biodiversity and social dimension.
To ensure the effective implementation of the policy, the State Government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment has just completed 83 strategies and 195 action plans based on the thematic aspects.
To ensure the relevancy, the policy includes up-to-date global concepts and values such as a green economy, balanced production and consumption, preservation of environmental and cultural heritage, protection of biodiversity, participation in global efforts for carbon balancing and other aspects of good governance.
The State would continue to gear up as Sabah's abundance natural resources and the environment are very delicate thus requiring complete sets of strategic planning management and implementation, he said.
The policy, he said, would serve as guide for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and other related ministries to carry out their respective responsibility in managing the State's natural resources and environmental affairs.
Musa urged all parties to work closely together to ensure the successful implementation of the policy for the people of Sabah.
He also congratulated the Environment Protection Department, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment for the successful formulation of the policy.
Musa also noted that the policy would be a catalyst to make Sabah a liveable state, based on its strategic location, high diversity natural resources, cultures and heritage of the people and a clean and healthy environment. - Neil Chan