KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman launched the Sabah State Policy on the Environment during the 14th State Assembly Sitting here yesterday, making Sabah the first state to have initiated the formulation of the policy.
The policy outlines strategies and action plans based on five thematic aspects of the environment, namely land, air, water, biodiversity and social dimension.
To ensure effective implementation of the policy, the state government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment has just completed 83 strategies and 195 action plans based on the thematic aspects.
The action plans for the Sabah State Policy on the Environment will be implemented for 15 years from 2018 to 2033.
The policy outlines three objectives, namely to provide a vision for environmental conditions and standards, an environmental framework for regulatory mechanisms, and guidance for all decision makers and implementing agencies in the execution of the mandates and duties.
The policy principles are based on clean air, healthy rivers and forests, productive land, bountiful seas and cohesive communities.
To ensure relevancy, the policy includes up-to-date global concepts and values such as a green economy, balanced production and consumption, preservation of environmental and cultural heritage, protection of biodiversity, participation in global efforts for carbon balancing and other aspects of good governance.
Musa said the state’s policy on the environment was an important landmark for Sabah in managing the environment and its natural resources.
“It is formulated to take into account the importance of environmental stewardship and for the state of Sabah to practise environmental governance. The formulation of the policy is timely for Sabah, in view of the necessities to improve environmental performance in all sectors of the state economy as well as the society.
“The state’s robust economic developments have depended closely on the utilisation of natural resources which has brought immense benefits to society. Thus, the state government has continuously endeavoured to harmonise the escalating challenges in the management of the environment and the natural resources,” he said.
Musa added that the environmental problems faced today were increasingly complex and required a broader cross sectoral and societal response.
He said he was proud to announce that Sabah was the first state to have initiated the formulation of the State Environmental Policy after the National Policy on the Environment was adopted in 2002.
The processes of getting views and opinions from all stakeholders started as early as 2011 and the policy formulation process completed in 2014.
The state will continue to gear up as Sabah’s abundant natural resources and the environment are very delicate, thus requiring complete sets of strategic planning, management and implementation.
“The policy serves as guidance for our Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and other related ministries to carry out our respective responsibilities in managing the state’s natural resources and environmental affairs.”
With clear policy objectives, he urged all parties to work closely together to ensure successful implementation of the policy for the people of Sabah.
He congratulated the Environment Protection Department, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment for the successful formulation of the timely policy.
“I note that the policy will form as catalyst to make the state of Sabah a liveable state based on its strategic location, high diversity natural resources, cultures and heritage of the people and a clean and healthy environment,” Musa said.
Source : The Borneo Post