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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 1: The Sarawak government is examining proposals to further expand the Heart of Borneo (HoB) areas which currently covers 2.7 million hectares extending from Lundu to Lawas, with 554,275 hectares of the total are Fully Protected Areas (TPA).
Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan emphasised that the project initiated since 2007 has indirectly contributed to the increase of the network of wildlife corridors in the HoB area which is important in flora and fauna conservation efforts.
“For the implementation of the activities and programmes of this HoB initiative, the Sarawak government has received RM50.7 million development allocations from the Federal government in the Mid-Term Review of the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) to the 12MP.
“A total of nine series of scientific expeditions have been carried out under the HoB initiative involving researchers from home and abroad.
“This year, the long Mekaba, Ulu Baram Scientific Expedition was held from Sept 12 to 25,” he told the august House when delivering his winding-up speech today.
Awang Tengah, who is also the Deputy Premier, pointed out that the results of this expedition were shared through seminars and conferences as well as documented in several publications such as coffee table books, monographs and proceedings papers.
The HoB is an initiative between three countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam contained in the Heart of Borneo, Bali Declaration that was signed on Feb 12, 2007.
This HoB’s cross-border cooperation, Awang Tengah said, has contributed to sustainable development and biodiversity management involving the border areas of the three countries through the implementation of activities and programmes based on five main cores. — DayakDaily