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Proactive measures taken to protect Sabah's rainforests

22nd March, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The government has undertaken proactive measures to protect Sabah’s priceless natural wonders by banning log exports, giving priority to sustainable and responsible use of natural resources.

“Through this direction, not only it helps suppress illegal logging but also promotes conservation of rainforests and natural wonders of Sabah which generates stronger economic returns through ecotourism than selling of raw timber resource,” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said.

In his keynote address while officiating the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Conference yesterday, Shafie highlighted the conservation and sustainable management of Sabah’s rainforests would be realised through the implementation of the 2nd Strategic Action Plan (SPA) until 2020.

“Through this roadmap, the SPA has set the aim of fulfilling its objectives in field important areas, which includes management of borders, protected areas, sustainable management of natural resources, ecotourism development and building the potential of natural resources,” he said.

Furthermore, he noted the Sabah government pledges to support efforts in advancing conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and protected areas.

“It’s important to study in detail on the conservation plan that has been prepared for the short and long term to expedite its progress as soon as possible,” he added.

“At the same time, we will intensify efforts to monitor and curb illegal logging activities through stronger collaboration with various parties from local partners and international organisations,” he said.

For this to happen, Shafie underlined the need for better coordination and organised steps to further improve the effectiveness of conservation efforts and reduce illegal logging activities. He underlined conservation efforts are necessary to reverse the harmful effects of deforestation as well as protecting rainforests and natural water catchment areas,

Elaborating on the Sabah government’s move to limit logging exports, he noted the measure also benefited local wood-based industries which gained better supply of raw materials to process their products for the market.

“This ensures there are adequate supply of raw materials for the development of Sabah’s wood-based and furniture industries which would generate economic returns and better jobs for locals,” he said when met by reporters after launching the programme.

Through such efforts, the Chief Minister noted more trees are being replanted compared to previous years in which the government has ensured that licensed logging companies were encouraged to replant trees at logged areas.

“This is to replace the logged trees and thus continuing the responsible and sustainable management of rainforests,” he said.

Among those who attended the conference include the Chief Conservator of Sabah Forest Datuk Mashor Mohd Jaini. –By Mohd Izham Hashim

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