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25-year Forest Master Plan
Published on: Thursday, August 24, 2023
By: Larry Ralon
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25-year Forest Master Plan
Jeffrey (centre) representing the Chief Minister in witnessing the signings of Memoranda of Understanding.
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Forestry Department is formulating a 25-year Forest Master Plan as a guide to pave the direction of the State’s long-term forest resources management. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the plan, in line with the Sabah Forest Policy 2018, will focus not only on forest reserves but also forest areas within state land and alienated lands.

He said the State Forestry Department has taken various proactive measures to protect Sabah’s forests, and since 1997, the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) concept has been fully implemented in Sabah.

“Sustained efforts in creating a balance of socio-economic development and environmental conservation through rationalisation of land use should be continuously implemented as an alternative new and sustainable income generation for Sabah.

“This includes exploring various initiatives which can support forest conservation programmes through non-timber-based income generation (Forest Beyond Timber),” he said at the “Heart of Borneo International Conference: An Ecosystem That Provides” at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), here, Wednesday.

His speech text was read out by Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is also the State Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry.

Hajiji said the Sabah Government is committed towards the conservation of its natural resources through protected areas in line with the objectives of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative declared in 2007 and since then the Sabah Government through the Sabah Forestry Department has made much progress in conservation.

“More than 27 per cent of the State’s land area or about two million hectares have been gazetted as Totally Protected Areas (TPAs), and 75 per cent of the TPAs are located within the boundaries of Sabah’s Heart of Borneo,” he said.

The Chief Minister said in line with the Sabah Government’s development roadmap, Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ), the Sabah Government is also committed to expanding the size of the TPA to 30 per cent of Sabah’s land area by 2025.

He said the State Government is also committed to supporting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for enhanced climate actions, and will continue to promote the strong linkages between climate change and sustainable development, whilst mainstreaming climate change-related actions into Sabah’s development agenda.

“Sabah is also committed to implementing necessary mitigation actions, as well as adaptation actions, across all sectors to support the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that Malaysia has set under the Paris Agreement by 2030,” he said.

Hajiji also thanked the Federal Government, particularly the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC), for its strong support of the HoB Initiative.

He said since 2009, some RM48 million has been disbursed to Sabah for the implementation of the HoB Initiative and under the 12th Malaysian Plan, the Federal Government has pledged another RM13 million for the initiative. 

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