KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is set to achieve a better balance between economic development and environmental conservation with the launch of its very own environmental policy.
The Sabah State Policy on the Environment that was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman recently was regarded as a timely move to ensure that the state’s liveability could be improved and maintained.
“The policy was drawn based on Sabah’s location, highly diversified natural resources, culture and heritage, and is aimed at creating a clean and healthy environment for all,” he said at the ceremony.
Sabah is said to be the first state to initiate a state environmental policy after the national policy on environment was adopted in 2002.
It was formulated to highlight the importance of environmental stewardship and for the state to practise environmental governance.
The action plans outlined in the policy will be implemented over 15 years from 2018 to 2033.
Musa stressed that there was a need to improve environmental care in all sectors of the state’s economy as well as its society.
“Sabah’s robust economic development depends heavily on the use of natural resources.
“At the same time, the state government has been working hard to meet the escalating challenges in the management of the environment and natural resources,” he said.
Musa added that environmental problems faced today were increasingly complex and required a broader cross-sectoral and societal response.
The policy’s three main objectives are to provide a vision for environmental conditions and standards, an environmental framework for regulatory mechanisms, and guidance for all decision makers and implementing agencies in the execution of the mandates and duties.
It outlines strategies and action plans based on five thematic aspects of the environment namely land, air, water, biodiversity and social dimension.
Its principles are based on maintaining clean air, healthy river and forests, productive land, bountiful seas and cohesive communities.
The process of getting input from all stakeholders started as early as 2011 and the policy formulation process was completed in 2014.