Sabah's controversial carbon trade deal being fine-tuned, says Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is fine-tuning its controversial Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) for a carbon trading deal, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pic).

The Chief Minister said that they were looking at the terms and conditions of the deal to meet the requirements for the state's involvement in carbon trading.

"We are still fine-tuning the details. It is good for us to explore this industry. Our forests can offer us lucrative returns, but we have to manage our areas and water sources properly," he told reporters here Tuesday (Aug 1) when asked about the current NCA deal.

Hajiji, who was speaking to reporters after presenting state scholarships to 40 top SPM students, said that the carbon trading venture could bring about huge revenue, but it must be done properly and in accordance with the requirements.

On July 27, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that the NCA with Singapore-based Hoch Standard Pte Ltd signed on Oct 28, 2021, was not shelved and was still on track.

He said no objections were made formally to the state government by state Attorney General Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof, who in a media statement in Feb 2022 said that the NCA was not enforceable in its present form.

She said that among the unresolved issues were a designated area, pilot area and map, and a development management plan as well as consent from affected communities.

Kitingan said her objections were not officially forwarded to the state Cabinet or the steering and management committee for the implementation of the NCA, which he chairs.

Kitingan said that "somebody is playing around" and explained that they were still on track towards meeting the requirements needed for the state to earn from carbon trading.

He said that the state would lose billions of ringgit in revenue if it continued to delay the implementation of the NCA.

A group of conservationists and also Opposition politicians have been critical over the deal and had urged the state to be more transparent on it.

Kitingan said that they have been transparent and even explained to various groups on the deal involving two million hectares of the state’s forests.

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Sabah , Carbon Deal , Controversy , Hajiji Noor ,


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