WWF engaged civil society for sustainable development in the Heart of Borneo (Press Release) | WWF

WWF engaged civil society for sustainable development in the Heart of Borneo (Press Release)

Posted on 28 March 2014    
MoU Signing between WWF-Indonesia and FORMADAT Indonesia, and WWF-Malaysia and FORMADAT Malaysia.
© WWF-Indonesia / Syahirsyah
Miri, SARAWAK (26/04) -  WWF-Malaysia and WWF-Indonesia and the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Borneo (FORMADAT) signed  a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  to forge a stronger and more formal partnership with community organizations in the Heart of Borneo (HoB). This is part of a new approach to enhance coalitions and collaborations with civil society for conservation.

Under the MoU, the organizations will  collaborate to encourage conservation and sustainable development in  the Kelabit Highlands, Krayan (Kalimantan) and Maligan Highlands, and help realize a sustainable future in the homeland of  Iindigenous Peoples in the very heart of Borneo.

Initiatives by FORMADAT and supported by WWF include: enhance sustainable agricultural practices and promotion of local products, trans-border and community-based ecotourism, as well as help establish fair trading networks across the border to  provide the local communities  with better market access that promotes sustainability.

FORMADAT, with WWF support, will continue to work towards the conservation of water sources, river banks and community forests, protection of cultural historical sites and the protection of collective intellectual property rights of the indigenous peoples of the highlands.

The focus of the collaboration is in line with the green economy vision of the HoB Initiative which aims to transform economic practices by valuing natural capital and enhancing benefits for those whose livelihoods depend on natural resources through support to local communities and the development of  local green economic activities such as smallholder premium agriculture, responsible ecotourism, and sustainable nature resource management and environmental protection. "WWF hopes this is the first of several partnerships and formal collaborations with local organizations all along the border between Malaysia and Indonesia in the HoB," said WWF.

Signing for WWF were the CEO of Malaysia, Dato' Dr Dionysius Sharma, and the CEO of Indonesia, Dr Efransjah. FORMADAT was represented by its Chief for Malaysia, Penghulu Sigar Sultan, and its Chief for Indonesia,  Lewi Gala Paru.

Since 2004, WWF-Indonesia started to support and collaborate with FORMADAT.  In 2008, WWF-Malaysia, with the establishment of the Sarawak Office initiated its support by developing a community engagement programme within the Heart of Borneo Initiative.

FORMADAT's vision supports the sustainable use of forest and protection of the environment in the Highlands, their common homeland. It aspires sustainable development to be centred around community-based ecotourism, organic farming and agro-forestry, and access to information technology. The aim is to increase and understand about the communities in the Highlands, maintain cultural traditions, build local capacity, and encourage sustainable development in the Heart of Borneo without risking the degradation of the quality of the social and natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

While a trans-border organisation, FORMADAT is registered according to state laws as: FORMADAT Sarawak and FORMADAT Sabah in Malaysia, and FORMADAT Indonesia.

- Ends -

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with more than 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
For more about WWF-Malaysia, visit wwf.org.my   
For more about WWF-Indonesia, visit wwf.or.id

About Heart of Borneo
The ‘Heart of Borneo' is the only remaining place in South-east Asia that still holds huge tracts of continuous pristine forest. It straddles the transboundary highlands of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia and reaches out through the foothills into the adjacent lowlands. This programme aims to assist Borneo's three governing nations (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia) to conserve the Heart of Borneo through a network of protected areas and sustainably managed forest, and through international co-operation led by the Bornean governments. The forests of the Heart of Borneo are some of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth, possessing staggeringly high endemism levels across all groups of plants and animals.
For more on the WWF Heart of Borneo Global Initiative, visit panda.org/borneo

FORMADAT, an acronym for Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Borneo or Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Borneo, is a trans-bordercommunity forum established by the main ethnic groups in the area - the Lundayeh /Lun Bawang, Sa'ban & Kelabit. The highlands of Borneo, which comprise the sub-districts of Bario, Ba'Kelalan and Long Semadoh in Sarawak, and Long Pasia in Sabah, Malaysia, Krayan Selatan and Krayan  in North Kalimantan, Indonesia, constitute one geographic, environmental, and cultural land inhabited by  people who share a common origin.

For further information:
-    Cristina Eghenter, Social Development Strategy Leader, WWF Borneo Programme
Tel : +6221 7829461, Email: ceghenter@wwf.or.id
-    Yeoh Lin Lin, Head of Communications, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603 78033772, Email: llyeoh@wwf.org.my
-    Alicia Ng, Senior Communications Officer, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +60 82 247 420, Mobile: +60 16 866 7998, Email: kcng@wwf.org.my

MoU Signing between WWF-Indonesia and FORMADAT Indonesia, and WWF-Malaysia and FORMADAT Malaysia.
© WWF-Indonesia / Syahirsyah Enlarge

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