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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Budget 2023: Plantations Ministry to request more allocations for conservation

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry (MPIC) plans to apply for higher allocations from the Finance Ministry under Budget 2023 to ensure greater efforts toward environmental conservation in the plantation sector.

Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said it is also in line with Malaysia's commitment towards realising the targets set under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

She said MPIC is committed to increasing conservation efforts to minimise human-wildlife conflicts for the sake of the sustainability of the plantation sector.

“Efforts like this also refute criticism, especially from the West, that Malaysia does not comply with global environmental standards for commercial purposes,” she said in a statement today.

According to her, MPIC, through various agencies such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation (MPOGCF), has implemented various initiatives to ensure the sustainable growth of the plantation sector.

“This includes the development of the Borneo Elephant Wildlife Sanctuary to deal with human-elephant conflicts and the creation of controlled public access protected areas to better understand and care for these animals,” she said.

Zuraida said MPOGCF has also started a programme to plant elephant grass species to encourage the animals to use wildlife corridors that can help reduce human-elephant conflicts.

“MPIC also supports the ‘Heart of Borneo’ initiative, a unique programme led by the government and supported by non-governmental organisations that had started since the joint declaration by the governments of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia in 2007,” she explained.

She said this programme, among other things, aims to conserve biodiversity in Borneo for the benefit of the public through a network of protected areas, sustainable forest management and sustainable land use.

“Malaysia supports and participates in the Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use and the Global Methane Pledge at the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021,” she said.

Zuraida said Malaysia's involvement with 141 other countries in this declaration is in line with the Leaders' Declaration on National Forests and Land Use.

"This declaration aims to continue to maintain at least 50 percent of the country's land area under forest cover as well as strengthen the government's commitment to the conservation and sustainable management of forests and other ecosystems and land use, including for agricultural and plantation purposes," she said.

She also expressed her condolence to the family of an oil palm plantation worker who was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Temerloh recently.

- Bernama

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