Back to Heart of Borneo business
By Chris Greenwood, on behalf of the Heart of Borneo Global Initiative team.
As the Muslim world emerges from Ramadhan/Eid Mubarak and Europe returns from its summer holiday season, the HoB team are gearing up for a busy couple of months full of significant events on our strategic calendar.
In late September, the city of Kuching in Sarawak will play host to the 6th Tri-lateral meeting of the National Heart of Borneo working parties. This year the chair of the meeting moves from Indonesia to Malaysia and expectations are high that Malaysian officials will continue the good work of their Indonesian counterparts in driving the three country agenda forward. Indeed all three countries play an active role in stimulating debate about future developments in the HoB.
Just recently the Minister of Industry and Primary Industries for Brunei Darussalam, Pehin Yahya Bakar, has called for renewed focus on the ‘Vision of the Heart of Borneo’, declared by the three governments in Bali in 2007. The Minister was giving the keynote address at a Public Forum and Roundtable on Protecting Nature in the Heart of Borneo (HoB) held at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, in early September.
He said there was a need to ‘reconvene’ the meeting of the Ministers responsible for Forestry from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia to take stock of the achievements so far and to refresh the HoB Declaration mandate after five years of progress on HoB issues (see feature story in this issue). It seems the Minister is not alone in his thinking, with the Sabah Forestry Department announcing a major conference in November, entitled; Heart of Borneo +5 and beyond – shaping and nurturing Sabah’s future together. The conference is supported by WWF and LEAP (a local conservation group) and amongst other topics, will discuss the development of the HoB Initiative since the Declaration in 2007. (See more news story in this issue)
WWF HoB management update
In our July issue, we announced the news that our former HoB team leader, Adam Tomasek, had stepped down from his position due to family translocation back to the US. Interviews for the vacant Team Leader position are currently underway with a view to an appointment being made before the end of the year. In the meantime, as also foreshadowed, we are pleased to announce that Adam will be joining us on a consultancy basis later this year to assist with the transition process for the new leader.
Vale Rodrigo Fuentes
It is with great sadness that we record the recent passing of Rodrigo Fuentes, the Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. Rodrigo was a committed and passionate environmental advocate and a friend of the Heart of Borneo. He will be sorely missed. Our condolences go to his family and colleagues.