Eu-REED+Community- Based Project Success To Be Replicated Statewide

KOTA KINABALU: The successful implementation of the 8-year Sabah EU-REDD+ project could form the baseline for a statewide approach toward achieving sustainable and low carbon development in Sabah.
Efforts have already been initiated by the Sabah Forestry Department that intend to demonstrate that the experience and results from community-based forest management under the project could be replicated on a statewide level.
“SFD is currently collaborating with UMS to develop the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for aboveground forest carbon density (AGCD) mapping for Sabah.
“The objective is to develop a statewide approach to replicate and scale up the methods tested through the Project to the state level,” said Sabah Chief Conservator of Forests, Datuk Frederick Kugan.
The REDD+ is an international framework to guide activities in the forest sector that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
It aims at the implementation of activities by governments to reduce human pressure on forests that result in greenhouse gas emissions at the national level.
In Sabah, the 8-year project entitled ‘Tackling Climate Change through Sustainable Forest Management and Community Development’ had been funded by the European Union and implemented in three selected pilot sites across different areas. These sites were in Kg Gana, Kota Marudu, Kinabatangan and Kinabalu Ecolinc.
The project officially ended recently with valuable lessons learned and can be shared as well as replicated on a larger scale.
According to Kugan, based on the carbon stock assessment (CSA) conducted by the communities from 2017 to 2021, there are positive indicators that the project could be implemented on a statewide level.
He said the project was the demonstration of REDD+ activities in the three pilot sites in Sabah and based on its roadmap, full implementation of REDD+ will be through lessons learned from this project.
“Through the EU REDD+ Project, sustainable forest management through the planting of trees in degraded forest areas and controlled forest silviculture were promoted to improve carbon stock of these forest areas and hence, increase the rate of carbon sequestration,” he said.
He noted that the Project has also demonstrated how conservation could improve the economy of the local community.
“Through the various community development activities, they have helped provide sufficient income to the local communities and reduced the dependencies on forest and encroachment.
“The communities established their protected forest areas or ‘Tagal Hutan as Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) within the pilot site is one of the indicators of the success of the project in promoting REDD+ program in Sabah,” he said.
Kugan also noted that aside from communities, other key stakeholders such as state-owned oil palm company, Sawit Kinabalu, have set aside 2,632ha at Sg Pin for conservation.
To date, he said 1,352.83ha of degraded forest areas have been restored as a result of the Project and some 4,205.28 ha of CCAs (by the community and corporate companies) have been established.
In addition, nearly 500 households have benefited from the Project’s various sustainable livelihood activities.
There has also been an increase in the number of visitors to the communities’ forest-based ecotourism sites.


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