Kota Kinabalu - Sabah is poised to become a model for Southeast Asian countries in sustainable forest management.
United Nations resident coordinator for Malaysia and United Nations resident representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, Kamal Malhotra said Sabah remained a very important place to demonstrate the concept of sustainable development not only in Malaysia but also within Southeast Asia.
"What is going on here is closely monitored by those who are interested in sustainable development. We will support the government of Sabah in managing its forest through Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)."
He told this to reporters at the launch of the International Conference on Sabah Heart of Borneo Green Economy and Development - Engaging Business for Environment, here, yesterday.
Earlier, in his welcoming remarks, Malhotra said the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) would take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for three days from June 4, next year.
He said the main objectives of the summit were to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development, to assess the progress towards internationally-agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges.
The summit, which is also referred to as Rio+20 because of the initial landmark conference, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio in 1992, will also focus on the issue of green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development.
Malhotra said a number of critical issues were emerging in the lead-up to the summit based on the discussions so far.
These include the lack of consensus on the meaning of green economy, the importance of the private sector's role in the transition to a green economy, and the need for the UNCSD or Rio+20 to produce a set of principles to guide the transition to a green economy.
Meanwhile, Kamal said the significance of Sabah's biodiversity is duly recognised in the Heart of Borneo Initiative.
He stated that managing a multiple-use forest landscape remained a challenge and its success required enormous effort if an optimal balance among competing land usage in terms of social, ecological and economic objectives is to be achieved.
"UNDP is currently developing a project with the Sabah Forestry Department to address this challenge with the objective of institutionalising a multiple-use forest landscape planning and management model," said Kamal.
"This will bring the management of critical protected areas and connecting landscape under a common management umbrella and the implementation will be sustainably funded by revenues generated within the area," he added.--Courtesy of New Sabah Times