NGOs Commit to Good Forest Governance Partnership in Trus Madi Forest Reserve
The Sabah Forestry Department (SFD), licensee Anika Desiran Sdn Bhd and the FMU-5 NGO Council aim to build a model for equitable forest governance and co-management of the 88,920 hectare FMU, while ensuring respectful engagement with indigenous local communities and those who represent interests of wildlife.
Transparency and accountability in the development, implementation and monitoring of management plans, and assisting with the agreed phasing-out of logging after the current cycle and replacement with alternative opportunities within a conservation and circular economy are other key advances the partnership is focusing on.
This will translate into advancing the effective protection and restoration of wildlife habitats, watersheds and other forest ecological functions and advocate the effective protection of wildlife populations against hunting and other activities that jeopardise their long-term survival.
In a statement today, the FMU-5 NGO Council, made up of Forever Sabah, Hutan-Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Programme (HUTAN-KOCP) and WWF-Malaysia, said it would engage with the government and Anika Desiran on policy and decisions that will shape land use, determine standards and guide practices.
HUTAN-KOCP Director Dr Marc Ancrenaz said a relatively small population of orang-utans is found in Trus Madi and this upland forest is becoming increasingly important in sustaining populations of the primate and other animals in the midst of climate change.
“It is therefore crucial to manage this ecosystem and to advocate the protection and sustainable use of this forest to sustain its functionality. Inviting scientists and NGOs to the discussion and to the management of this area is a new model that intends to bring as much expertise as possible for better managing Sabah’s natural resources,” Ancrenaz said.
WWF-Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Dato Dr Dionysius Sharma said there have been positive changes to landuse regimes in FMU-5 through engagement with partners.
“However, we also want to see that the agreed actions be translated to the ground; and to further explore the feasibility of Payment for Ecosystem Services and other non-traditional sources of revenue."
“WWF-Malaysia is committed to this partnership for biodiversity safeguards and creating a model of good forest governance in FMU-5. An NGO Council Action Plan will be developed to deliver our commitment in the Memorandum of Understanding with SFD and Anika Desiran,” he said.
Forever Sabah Chief Executive Facilitator Cynthia Ong said the government must be acknowledged for its leadership reflected in the openness to pioneering a progressive cross-sector governance structure.
“While it adds complexity, it also gathers diverse and additional skills and resources around the table. The FMU-5 NGO Council commits to engage with the government and licensee on policy and decisions that will shape land use, determine standards and guide practices."
“We will attend key meetings and provide technical inputs, review key documents and where appropriate, be present to observe compliance monitoring and certification audits,” she said.
The council will also provide training and technical assistance to staff from government and Anika Desiran in charge of biodiversity protection and management, and provide input on controlling poaching, apart from monitoring wildlife populations and high conservation value areas.
It will engage communities on sustainable alternative livelihoods in order to reduce impacts on high conservation value areas and minimise illegal hunting and fishing in the FMU, apart from promoting community forestry and related livelihoods in the compartments zoned for them to use.
The council will explore and where viable, develop plans and implement projects with both or either one of the partners to reduce carbon emissions and renewable energy production.
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For more information, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +6 088 262 420 ext 123