More funding needed for HoB Initiative
Making this call at the 10th Heart of Borneo (HoB) Trilateral Meeting – HoB Partners Dialogue, WWF Heart of Borneo Programme Chairman Dato' Dr Dionysius Sharma said private companies operating in the HoB area should be encouraged to support the HoB Initiative. As such, the governments should welcome any organisation that desires to support the Initiative.
“The key is to bring to the table issues of mutual concern and benefit to the governments and stakeholders. For corporations and businesses, you could consider environmental conservation as part of your corporate social responsibility programmes.”
“Donating or contributing will be for a good cause as protecting our natural capital is crucial to ensure survival of the human race in the long run. Protecting the planet takes collective efforts, and WWF calls everyone to play their part,” he said at Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism on Tuesday.
Dr Dionysius said the current funding that WWF received to support the Initiative is restricted to civil society and this therefore, limits the scope of work that can be implemented.
He said WWF plans to work on joint-project proposals with various government agencies for consideration by the HoB member countries to expand the scope of collaboration that enables government agencies to receive development funds and achieve greater conservation wins.
“We hope that the HoB Technical Committee would consider such joint-proposals and WWF could then identify development agencies and funding institutions around the world that could consider such proposals. Towards that end, this collaboration would be in the form of bilateral government-to-government technical cooperation projects,” he elaborated.
As for WWF, he said, the organisation’s commitment to support the HoB process would continue and hoped that everyone would join in this endeavour to make the area a better place to live in, both for mankind and environment.
Dr Dionysius said the WWF HoB Programme focuses on six priority areas that are vital for overall conservation of biodiversity and protection of ecosystem services in the island. Of the six priority areas, three are located along international borders and form a main part of the HoB Corridor Project Implementation.
The first is the elephant landscape spanning south of Sabah and North Kalimantan. Our work is to develop a comprehensive elephant conservation plan that includes setting aside wildlife corridors that link protected forest, conservation areas, riparian zones and important browsing grounds through forest management areas and plantations.
The second is the landscape covering the headwaters of several rivers in Sabah, Sarawak and North Kalimantan that aimed to have well managed forest landscapes that will provide ecological connectivity linking Brunei’s Sungai Ingei Conservation Forest and Ulu Temburong National Park; to Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu, Gunung Buda and Pulong Pau National Parks; and onwards to Sabah’s Crocker Range National Park as well as to North Kalimantan’s Kayan Mentarang National Park.
The third priority area connects Sarawak to West Kalimantan by incorporating orangutan conservation into sustainable development as the basis for connectivity. This transboundary project provides the orangutan connectivity for the Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak with that of Betung Kerihun and Danau Sentarum National Parks in West Kalimantan.
Other partners who spoke at the dialogue are Borneo Initiative Jakarta Programme Director
Wim Ellenbroek, Borneo Adventure Partner Robert Basiuk, Alas Kusuma Group Jakarta Head of Environment and Certification Ida Bagus Wiradnyana Putra and ADB Jakarta National Coordinator Tonny Soehartono.
During the two-day trilateral meeting, WWF in Indonesia and Malaysia held a joint exhibition together for the first time to showcase some of the organisation’s work with local communities in support of the governments’ efforts in promoting the HoB Initiative i.e. sustainable livelihoods and responsible stewardship towards the natural capital. Themed on ‘Colours of HoB Communities’, the exhibition comprises three parts of photo and poster exhibitions, and display of local communities’ products.
Meanwhile, the HoB Trilateral Meeting also acknowledged the establishment of the Forum of Local Indigenous Communities of the HoB and the award of the Equator Prize 2015 to FORMADAT, the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Borneo (Indonesia – Malaysia) for outstanding local achievements in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. WWF-Indonesia and WWF-Malaysia are partners of FORMADAT towards achieving sustainable development in the highlands of Heart of Borneo.