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European Union cash boost for Sabah Forestry Department

11th December, 2018


KINABATANGAN: Sabah Forestry Department (SFD), having secured the financial support from the European Union (EU), is currently implementing the EU – Reduce Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation-Plus (REDD+) Project.

Chief Conservator Forestry, Datuk Mashor Mohd Jaini said, the EU-REDD+ Project aims to reduce the emission of carbon from deforestation and forest degradations.

According to him, through this project, the department is working closely with Koperasi Pelancongan Mukim Batu Puteh Kinabatangan (KOPEL) Berhad and Sawit Kinabalu to conduct riparian restoration activities that include sustainable livelihood Programme of riverine communities along the Kinabatangan River; the Community Conservation Area (CCA) Programme; and the Riparian and forest restoration activities.

“I am confident that by implementing impactful projects such as the Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project and the EU-REDD+ Project, riparian restoration works in Kinabatangan could be expedite as both projects shared the same objective/target,” he said at a ceremony on the Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project extension signing at Dewan Komuniti Batu Puteh in Sukau, Kinabatangan on Saturday.

Also present were the Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, Juan Aranols; Governing Council Member of Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and Chief Executive Officer of Sime Darby Berhad, Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson.

He also pointed out that the EU-REDD+ Project could further strengthen the role and involvement of community in protecting and sustainably managing the forests.

Meanwhile Juan said, Nestle and YSD have committed to plant one million trees by 2020 as they extend their collaboration on the Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project.

He explained that in 2011, Nestlé had established the Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project, which has been supported by YSD since 2014 as part of their commitment to environmental sustainability.

The project has successfully archived its initial target of replanting 2,500 hectares along Kinabatangan riparian in 2017, with 700,000 trees.

According to him through Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project, it will see reforestation of land along the lower Kinabatangan River and creation of a natural riverine buffer that will help minimise the impact of soil sedimentation and chemical fertiliser run-offs, thereby giving the river a chance to repair itself over the course of time.

Juan admitted that Kinabatangan is a vital Corridor of Life for Sabah, playing crucial role not only for wildlife but also people.

“We are dedicated to preserving this unique biodiversity through Kinabatangan RiLeaf Project and continue to create landscape where people, nature and agriculture can co-exist, united by critical resource – water.

“We felt honoured that our vision to protect and conserve Kinabatangan’s rich biodiversity is shared with YSD and the SFD,” he said.

Back in 2011, the SFD had facilitated the implementation of the RiLeaf Project, opting to restore 2,400ha of degraded riparian within the Kinabatangan Corridor of Life (K-COL).

The EU-REDD+ Project is part of a continuous effort by SFD to further support the K-COL objectives of riparian restoration, covering upstream of Kinabatangan River.

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