Cannot keep on destroying environ
Published on: Sunday, July 09, 2017
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Kota Kinabalu: Certain measures must be taken to avoid causing further damage in the name of development progress. "We need to be aware that we cannot keep on destroying our environment," said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

This is why, he said, Sabah has taken a bold move to forgo substantial revenue from its natural resources in order to uphold its commitment towards environment protection.

"I particularly agree with the Chief Minister's statement about enhancing the resilience of our ecosystem with sufficient protected areas and by embarking on a green economy to become a developed State with a sustainable society.

"Sabah is not just a land full of different species of flora and fauna but it is also our home.

"We share this home with various unique creatures and we depend on the environment for our survival.

The trees provide us oxygen and the roots give us a stable land to build something on."

Towards this end, Masidi said Sabah is a land full of resources which should be maintained through environmental protection.

"Sabah has oil, timber, gas and palm oil. These are our primary exports, one of the aspects that sustains our economy.

"However, in recent years, due to the logging and agricultural activities that were done with extremity, our rainforests have minimised in size, thus threatening the survival of our biodiversity and ecosystem.

"For example our Sumatran Rhinoceros, the world's smallest rhino, there is only two of them surviving in Malaysia now since a female had passed away due to skin cancer. They are one of the victims from habitat loss due to logging as well as poaching.

"The possibility that we might never see these magnificent creatures again is undeniable.

"To stop this happening to other unique species, we need to protect the environment," he said in his speech delivered by Environment Protection Department Director Mohammad Yursie Abdullah during the closing ceremony of Institut Sinaran's Inter School Environment Day, Saturday.

Masidi said Sabah showed strong commitment to the conservation of biodiversity and the environment as the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had stated that the forgoing of revenue from natural resources has allowed the State to achieve 26 per cent of total protected areas (TPAs), or 1.87 million hectares (ha) of greenery with Sabah aspiring to achieve 30 per cent TPAs, or 2.2 million hectares by 2025.

"I hope that the community here and students of Sabah can lend us a hand in the matter as this is a global problem. Please tell your family and friends that we are the earth's protector," he said.

On the programme, Masidi said the participants from 20 secondary schools held out the promise of a bright future for them as well as for environment.

"I am proud that the Government as well as all the schools here are part of this meaningful global movement.

Their ideas could be the next ground-breaking discovery or a new trend that would promote the idea of recycling and thus help Mother Nature recover from her serious injuries that was caused by us.

"It will be a long way for us to reverse the damages we have done to our environment.

With every action we take to save the environment, the young generation will resonate and create ripples continuously until it makes an impact to the whole world.

"That is why we should promote more events like this, where its ideas and activities could encourage the young generation to do what the theme of the World Environment Day for this year is about: Connecting People to Nature," said Masidi.

During the event, there were several competitions about environment such as a video competition which was won by SMK Kota Marudu, choral speaking - Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (winner) and YB Minister competition - St Michael, Penampang (winner).

Also present were Institut Sinaran Chief Executive Officer Marie Yong, Institut Sinaran Board of Governors Chairman Fong Tet Kong, teachers and students. - Cynthia D Baga


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