KOTA KINABALU: Sabah remains on target to achieve 30% of Total Protected Forests (TPA) under the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative undertaken by Malaysia Indonesia and Brunei.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the state government is set to expand its TPA to 30% from the current 26% of the state’s land area or 1.9 million hectares already gazetted under the HoB initiative.
He said 75% of the 1.9mil hectares are located within Malaysia's borders in Borneo.
"Sabah has achieved significant progress in forest conservation since the inception of the HoB initiative 14 years ago.
"The TPA expansion target is in line with Sabah's five-year development plan (Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) 2021 – 2025) which has included the HoB initiative in the Green Infrastructure and Sustainability Networks, he said.
He said through concerted efforts, Sabah has maintained 50% of its landmass under forest covers and the state had increased forest covers to 65% of which 52% are gazetted as forest reserves, parks and wildlife conservation areas.
The HoB project has seen the restoration of 2,000ha of forest reserves," Hajiji said, while opening the virtual first virtual international conference on HoB, on Tuesday (Nov 9).
Hajiji said Sabah was the first state in the country to launch its Good Regulatory Practice, emulating the move mooted by the Federal Government.
The Chief Minister also said Sabah would be implementing the Integrated Landscape Management of Heart of Borneo Landscapes under the Global Environment Facility’s Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Programme (FOLUR IP), a project that focuses on environmental and land development management.
"The six-year project involves 1.6 million hectares within the HoB landscape, costing US$7.3mil (RM30.3mil) to be funded by the Global Environment Facility under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
"Sabah will also be involved in another UNDP-funded programme, the BIOFIN project, on conservation finance in the state," he said, adding the state had engaged with various partners, executing 79 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and Memoranda of Agreement (MoAs) in previous years.