Sarawak revises Heart of Borneo initiative

KUCHING, Oct 12: Sarawak is revising the framework for the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative to ensure that it would align with the state’s existing policies and development agenda, particularly the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030). 

The HoB Initiative is a voluntary transboundary cooperation between three countries, namely Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), Indonesia and Brunei to conserve tropical forests in Borneo while enhancing sustainable development to improve the welfare of those living on the island.

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state’s Forest Department, as the secretariat for HoB Sarawak, is currently working on the final draft of the revised project implementation framework. 

“This document, a revised version of the Sarawak HoB Implementation Framework 2009, will guide the prioritisation and implementation of programmes and activities within the Heart of Borneo region up to the year 2030.

“It is not intended to replace the earlier 2009 framework but rather serves as an updated and supplementary document to it,” he said in his speech for the Heart of Borneo Seminar 2023: Gerenai-Long Mekaba Scientific Expedition here today. His speech text was read out by the State Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh. 

Awang Tengah, who is also Sarawak Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development, said leveraging on the HoB initiative would allow the state to showcase its efforts in community engagement and sustainable practices such as the Tagang system and ecotourism.

Themed ‘Exploring the hinterland of North-Eastern of Sarawak’, the two-day seminar was aimed at addressing the urgent need for forest conservation, especially in the lesser explored areas of the state.