Sabah set to sell carbon credits through Kuamut project

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor meeting with Permian Global chairman Stephen Rumsey with Sabah Conservator of Forests Datuk Frederick Kugan (centre).

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is now poised to sell carbon credits through the Kuamut Rainforest Conservation Project (KRCP) involving the protection and restoration of 83,381ha of tropical rainforest.

The first tranche of Verified Carbon Units (VCU) involving forested areas in the Tongod and Kinabatangan districts was now ready for trading after meeting international standards for Climate, Community and Biodiversity progress.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor was briefed Tuesday (April 16) by Permian Global chairman Stephen Rumsey on the report verifying that KRCP meets international standards to begin carbon trade.

Permian Malaysia, a subsidiary of Permian Global, is in partnership with the Sabah Forestry Department and Yayasan Sabah in the conservation initiative.

Hajiji said the KRCP reflected how the public and private sector can work together in a "transparent and impactful" way to engage and empower local community participation from the outset.

"Sabah is renowned for biodiverse forests and it is important that we do whatever is needed to preserve this.

"I want us to build on the KRCP achievement, to protect as much of our forest as we can, and to lead the world in high-impact, scientifically robust conservation efforts that not only benefit nature but also the state and the people," he said in a statement.

Permian Global has provided investment for the project and also involved state authorities and scientific and community partners, the South-East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) and community-focused organisation PACOS Trust.

Also present at the briefing were Permian Malaysia chief executive officer Ivy Wong Abdillah, Yayasan Sabah director Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar, and Sabah chief conservator of forests Datuk Frederick Kugan.

The KRCP deal appears to have pre-empted the controversial Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) involving two million hectares of the state's totally protected forests to harness carbon trade.

The 2021 deal between the state government and a Singapore-based company remains on the table but has yet to progress as the company involved, Hoch Standard Pte Ltd, needs to furnish further documents to the state Attorney General.

The requirement was part of the state’s due diligence to determine the company's professional capacity for such a large and complex project.

The Forestry Department has also allocated 190,051ha of totally protected forest for the company to carry out its pilot programme to harness carbon credit.

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