KOTA KINABALU: World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) applauds the Sabah State government’s commitment in continuing its policy to achieve 30 per cent Totally Protected Areas (TPA) statewide by 2025.
As expressed by the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, during his speech at the First Term of the 16th State Legislative Assembly last Thursday, WWF-Malaysia Head of Conservation Sabah, Dr Robecca Jumin said WWF-Malaysia also welcomes and supports the state government’s plans to improve its environmental management.
“While we fully support the 30 per cent goal for totally protected areas, we urge the State Government to ensure that 50 per cent of Sabah’s land area is always under forest cover and sufficient to provide ecosystem services. This includes the watershed areas and habitats for flora and fauna, in line with State and National policies,” she said in a statement here today.
Robecca said Sabah has achieved 1.9 million hectares of its forest area or 26 per cent of the TPAs, making Sabah the state with the largest TPA in Malaysia, with 48% healthy non-degraded forest cover.
“TYT has assured that the State government will continue to focus and take initiatives to protect, preserve and conserve nature while adding efforts to expand the Marine Sanctuary to 13 per cent by 2023.
“With the mandate given by the people, the new administration helmed by Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor inherits the responsibility in protecting Sabah’s rich biodiversity. It is significant to ensure Sabah and the nation bounces back better to a green and just recovery from the COVID-19 health and economic impacts.
Robecca also said WWF-Malaysia calls for a holistic recovery approach that preserves the beauty and richness of flora and fauna as well as the wonders of nature in Sabah.
“WWF-Malaysia strongly appeals to the State government to continue work towards development in a sustainable way to balance economic aspirations without compromising Sabah’s natural capital.
“Sustainable development should be a goal that ensures a win-win in the environmental, social and economic aspects of Sabah. The threats of flash floods, air pollution, landslides, water supply shortage, and forest fires would increase without adequate protection of nature,” she added.