‘Time is right’ for HoB to be world carbon bank

National 1 minute, 40 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE “time is right” for governments, institutions, investors and all other interested stakeholders to join Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia in prioritising and committing to support the Heart of Borneo (HoB) as an important carbon bank for the world.

Mahmud Yussof, CEO of the HOB Centre, said they are welcoming dialogue partners such as international and regional funding agencies as well as big prominent companies to gather and discuss ways to fund trilateral projects.

“We’re also looking forward to welcoming dialogue partners in investing in a green economy,” he said.

He said beyond carbon storage, investing in the HoB will create substantial social and economic benefits, maintain valuable environmental services and support the livelihoods of millions of people both within and beyond the HoB.

“The governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia following the signing of the Heart of Borneo Declaration in Bali, Indonesia on February 12, 2007 recognised the importance of the island of Borneo as a life support system. It reaffirmed the interest of all three participating countries in having extensive forests to mitigate climate change, manage watersheds, preserve biodiversity, secure carbon stocks and provide environmental services,” he said.

He explained the HoB recognises that the world faces climate change, and notes the important role it plays in mitigating its worst effects.

Mahmud said HoB also notes that there is an urgent need for dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. “Forests are the planet’s largest terrestrial store of carbon. More carbon is locked away in the world’s forests and land-based ecosystems than all carbon in the atmosphere,’’ he said.

The centre’s CEO said the HoB landscape spans more than 20 million hectares of tropical rainforest.

“Economic incentives should play a role in making it viable for the three governments (Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia) to maintain their natural carbon stores in forests and other terrestrial habitats. Carbon management and carbon finance could provide an effective means of supporting efforts in the HoB to reduce emissions from deforestation,’’ he said.

The Brunei Times