KOTA KINABALU: Sabah aspires to be a global leader in sustainable palm oil production and efforts are being taken towards reaching this goal, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The Chief Minister said the state has embarked on a policy initiative to protect the resilience of this sector as the foundation of the economy and sustainable development of Sabah.
“This initiative will be done through the implementation of the Jurisdictional Certification of Sustainable Palm Oil (JCSPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification concurrently in Sabah towards achieving the internationally recognised Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standard.
“Sabah is the first state to work towards these certifications,” he said during the WWF Malaysia 50th anniversary dinner on Thursday (Nov 3).
Hajiji’s speech was delivered by state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
He said this while reaffirming the state government’s commitment towards continuing the good track record of environmental protection while striking a balance between economy and conservation.
“While economic development is necessary to enhance the lives of people in Sabah, we acknowledge it needs to be sustainable to ensure future generations will also be able to benefit from the gains that may be had today.
“By balancing short-term and long-term needs, we will ensure the youth today will not be put in a disadvantaged position in the future.
“In line with this, the government will also look into formulating responsible mining guidelines for the mining industry, and setting sustainability standards for infrastructure projects.
“I firmly believe that these initiatives and commitments coming out of Sabah will propel Malaysia forward with a clear ambition to achieve net zero by 2050,” he added.
Hajiji also said that one of the economic objectives of the Sabah government’s policy is to reduce reliance on natural forests as the main source of income.
“The state government has targeted to achieve 400,000ha of forest plantation by the year 2036, with a production capacity of between six and eight million cubic metres per year,” he said.
The state also gave its commitment to ongoing conservation initiatives that will contribute towards the overall goal of green sustainability, such as endorsing the Sabah Wildlife Policy and the Turtle Action Plan that are developed by the Sabah Wildlife Department.
“Through these policies, the true value of wildlife to Sabah’s economy and social well-being will both be realised and enhanced.
“Additionally, we are also committed to supporting the gazetting of Darvel Bay in Lahad Datu, as a Marine Protected Area.
“The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Sabah Parks and WWF-Malaysia for a five-year collaboration to carry out research and studies at Darvel Bay, marked our first step towards this end goal,” he said, while congratulating those who have worked hard in pursuit of this.