Private sector urged to support HoB cause

National 2 minutes, 53 seconds


THE World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is urging the private sector operating inside the Heart of Borneo (HoB) to support HoB’s objectives by incorporating conservation and sustainable development into their respective agendas.

WWF HoB Programme Chairman Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma said private companies operating in the HoB area should be encouraged to support the HoB initiative.

Speaking during the 10th HoB Trilateral Meeting during the HoB Partners Dialogue at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), he said 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.”

He added that corporation and businesses can consider environmental conservation as part of their corporate social responsibility programme.

He said 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.”

The current funding that WWF received to support the initiative is restricted to civil society and therefore limits the scope of work that can be implemented, said Dr Dionysius.

The WWF plans to work on joint-project proposals with various government agencies for consideration by HoB member countries to expand the scope of collaboration that enables government agencies to receive development funds and achieve greater conservation winds, he said.

Dr Dionysius hoped the joint-proposals will be considered by the HoB Technical Committee.

“WWF could then identify development agencies and funding institutions around the world that could consider such proposals.”

He said towards the end, this collaboration would be in the form of bilateral government-to-government technical cooperation projects.

He said that the WWF’s commitment to support the HoB process would continue, adding that he hoped everyone would join the endeavour to make the area a better place to live in, both for mankind and the 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.

Also speaking during the dialogue were the 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.

WWF in Indonesia and Malaysia also held a joint exhibition together for the first time during the two-day trilateral meeting.

According to the statement, the exhibition showcased some of the organisation’s work with local communities in support of the government’s efforts in promoting the HoB initiative such as sustainable livelihoods and responsible stewardship towards the natural capital.

Themed ‘Colours of HoB Communities’, the exhibition comprised of three parts pictures and poster exhibitions where local products were also displayed.

The statement said that the 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, added the statement.

The Brunei Times