Reducing climate change impact is a top priority for Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor assured that reducing climate change impact is high on the Sabah State Government’s agenda.
“As part of our commitment to reduce the impacts of climate change, the Sabah State Government has targeted to plant about 36 million trees as part of the nationwide Greening Malaysia Programme themed “Greening Malaysia: Our Trees, Our Life” which will last for five years until 2025,” he said.
So far, he said nearly 4.5 million trees have already been planted throughout the state.
In addition, the Chief Minister said Sabah has also established its Climate Change Action Council under the purview of the Sabah Forestry Department to discuss climate change policies and actions, drive green economic growth, catalyse green technology and low-carbon growth.
The commitment is in line with the Sabah State Policy on the environment as well as the national aspiration especially in the climate mitigation and adaptation processes, he said.
“Climate change is one of the key aspects covered in the Policy and we are committed to take all steps that are necessary to ensure Sabah’s air quality will not degrade as a result of development activities,” he said at the opening of the Sabah Climate Change International Conference 2021 on Tuesday.
The two-day hybrid conference held at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and via Zoom as well as YouTube is jointly-organised by the State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, Sabah Environmental Protection Department, Southeast Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) together with PETRONAS as the main sponsor.
According to him, the conference was timely given the fact that impacts of climate change such as rising temperatures, increasingly severe droughts, associated fires and haze, more frequent heavy rainstorms driving inland and coastal flooding, and growing threats to food security were now being felt constantly globally.
“Sabah is no exception,” he said, adding that the conference will not only create awareness of climate change impacting the community but that there will be knowledge-sharing, as well as networking facilitation.
“I hope this conference will also enhance cooperation amongst a broad base of stakeholder groups to promote public participation in both the climate change and conservation agendas.
“No less important is my wish to see more youth participation so that they too can raise their voices on climate change actions,” he said.
Hajiji said the Government of Malaysia was working actively towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and intensifying its efforts through various ministries and agencies in climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives.
Malaysia also participated in international collaborations and agreements, such as the Paris Agreement that came into force in 2016.
He said at the recently concluded United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Malaysia has reiterated its commitment to achieve reduction of greenhouse gas emission through the updating of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the aspiration to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Expressing the State Government’s appreciation for the commitment of all to make the conference a reality, Hajiji hoped it will be a platform for more far-reaching actions to address climate change issues together.
Present were Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Jafry Arifin, State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr Safar Untong, Chief, Government & Regulator Advisory PETRONAS Anuar Ismail, SEARRP Director, Datuk Dr Glen Reynolds and Technical Adviser to Chief Minister on Matters Related to Climate Change Datuk Darrel Webber.

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