Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
RM16m EU-Forestry climate change deal

Published on: Thursday, December 05, 2013

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Forestry Department and European Union (EU) on Tuesday launched a RM16 million programme to tackle climate change through sustainable forest management and community development.

Forestry Director Datuk Sam Mannan inked the joint venture together with the EU that was represented by EU Ambassador to Malaysia and Head of Delegates, Luc Vandelbon.

The four-year programme aims to contribute to the sustainable and low-carbon development of Sabah.

Both parties will also cooperate on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD plus) strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as to promote sustainable management of the forests and conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Mannan said the programme has been designed to meet the needs of Sabah in particular to support Sabah's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forest degradation and deforestation. "It will also help us to effectively engage local communities in forest management and rehabilitation both on government and community lands.

"I believe this will generate valuable experiences and enhance our capacity to further develop and implement the planned Sabah REDD+ Strategy," he said.

Vandelbon, on the other hand, said that the EU has been actively engaging with Sabah through various cooperation projects. Nevertheless, he said that it is the first time that an EU project of such scale is carried out in the State.

He said it addresses pertinent issues for Malaysia such as climate change, sustainable forest management and community knowledge.

He also said that the European Union is the lead on global climate change negotiations and strongly supports actions aiming to curb emissions from deforestation.

He, however, admitted that the REDD+ is a relatively new concept and that the EU needs to demonstrate that is could bring concrete benefits, in particular, for forest-dependent communities.

Mannan said the programme would focus on communities in the areas of Kg Gana in Kinabatangan.

"The EU will work closely with the Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Parks and other government agencies as well as several community-based organisations such as Pacos and village based cooperative such as Kopel," he said.