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State Government told to clear the air on Nature Conservation Agreement
Published on: Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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State Government told to clear the air on Nature Conservation Agreement
Justin explained that the Kyoto Protocol introduced this concept to ensure measurable carbon credits that aim to limit and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere. 
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government was urged to make a stand on the 100-year Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA), which was signed behind closed doors in October 2021.

“Regarding the NCA issue, I would like to ask the Government whether this agreement is still continuing.

“While I applaud the Government’s desire to implement initiatives that help reduce the carbon footprint, this agreement has created too much controversy.

I hope the Chief Minister can make a stand on this matter,” said Sri Tanjong Assemblyman Justin Wong Yung Bin when debating the 2024 Sabah Budget. Justin said it has been two years since the people of Sabah were taken by surprise upon learning of the agreement in social media.

“In February last year, this controversial agreement was later reported as ‘legally incompetent’ by the Sabah Attorney- General. Just when everyone thought that the deal had been officially cancelled, news suddenly resurfaced in early August this year.

Tambunan Assemblyman (Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan) made a statement to announce that phase one of the carbon credit agreement is underway.

“I request Tambunan (Jeffrey) to explain in this Dewan whether the NCA agreement will be implemented. Is the Singaporean company, Hoch Standard Pte Ltd, still involved with the Government for the carbon credit transaction generated from the preservation and conservation of 600,000-hectare forest reserve in phase one?

He also asked Jeffrey if there was any involvement/referral made with organisations that certify carbon credits such as Gold Standard, Global Carbon Council, American Carbon Registry and Architecture for REDD+ Transactions.

“These organisations are the ones who can verify the viability of the NCA and whether these Protected Areas can be monetised through carbon credits. If the NCA is deemed ineligible to sell carbon credits, then what is the point of continuing this agreement?

“Has the Minister been consulted on additional testing before signing this agreement? Can the 600,000 hectares of forest reserve pass the test to qualify as a carbon credit deal?”

Justin explained that the Kyoto Protocol introduced this concept to ensure measurable carbon credits that aim to limit and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere. 

Allcot Trading, a leading carbon project developer, sets sub-criteria when evaluating carbon credits, and one of them is transparency.

“Speaking of Allcot, I hope the Minister can confirm in this Dewan whether there is any official engagement with this company to undertake this carbon project?

“Allcot made a response through their media site and I quote, ‘there is no real engagement or legally binding agreement between the parties (here referring to the Sabah Government and the company).’

“Allcot claims they only sent a letter stating their intention to explore potential cooperation in implementing carbon projects.

“I hope the Minister can shed some light on the situation in this House because this contradicts what he said in an interview held in August this year.”

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