KOTA KINABALU: Conservation in Malaysia has taken a step forward with the endorsement of the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas standard for Malaysia.
The IUCN (or International Union for Conservation of Nature) Green List Committee recently approved the Malaysian standard, which was adapted from the global standard by the Malaysian Expert Assessment Group for the Green List (EAGL).
“By giving recognition to well-managed and well-governed protecting conservation results for people and nature” said Dr Agnes Agama, the founding chair of Malaysia’s EAGL said in a statement Wednesday.
The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (Green List) is the first global standard of best practice for area-based conservation.
It is a certification programme that recognises effectively managed and fairly governed terrestrial and marine protected and conserved areas that are achieving their conservation outcomes.
These areas include protection forest reserves, parks, natural World Heritage sites, indigenous peoples’ and community conserved areas, and wildlife sanctuaries, amongst others.
The standard focuses on good governance, sound design and planning and effective management criteria that underpin the positive conservation outcomes typical of Green Listed sites.
Over 2018, the Malaysian EAGL had reviewed the Green List global standard (which comprises 4 components with 17 criteria and 50 generic indicators) and adapted the indicators to suit the local context in Malaysia.
The EAGL subsequently conducted national, state and grassroots consultative meetings to review and receive feedback from stakeholders on the adapted global Green List standard.
The resulting adapted Green List standard for Malaysia was finalised and submitted to the IUCN Green List Committee at the end of 2018 and was approved in early 2019.
The IUCN Green List Programme is now welcoming submissions from governance authorities of protected and conserved areas that are ready to commit to demonstrating excellence in the conservation impact of protected and conserved areas across the nation.
Leading on this is Sabah’s youngest marine park–Tun Mustapha Park, with Sabah Parks having registered their interest in 2018 for this park to be considered for Green Listing.
The Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), under the co-management of the Sabah Wildlife Department and Reef Guardian, followed suit by registering their interest in February 2019.
The IUCN Green List will be presented at the up-coming Heart of Borneo International Conference in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This will mark the launch of the IUCN Green List Standard in Malaysia.