National Conservation Trust Fund key to sustaining Protected AreasOct 10, 2017
Kuching, October 10, 2017 ~ The United Nations Development Programme is working to facilitate the increase in financing of protected areas in Malaysia and the region.
Protected areas are classified as covering terrestrial and marine areas. The need to increase financing is due to that four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed as the result of human activities, which are extinction rate, deforestation, ocean pollution and carbon dioxide
On a global scale, protected areas are severely underfinanced where the need is ranged between USD300 to 400 billion a year. Currently, it is estimated at only USD50 billion.
Over 150 policymakers and experts from UN agencies, Ministries of planning, finance, environment, development partners and civil society attended the UNDP Protected Areas Financing Regional Forum “Strengthening and Diversifying Financing for Protected Areas” in partnership with the Sarawak State Government.
The forum was launched by Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hassan, Deputy Chief Minister, Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development; and Second Minister of Urban Development & Natural Resources.
Addressing the event, Stefan Priesner, UNDP Resident Representative in Malaysia said, “Protected areas and conservation efforts in the region are constrained by financing shortage. Malaysia is one of the global mega biodiverse countries which makes for an attractive ecotourism destination. Yet, management and enforcement of the Protected Areas are constantly beset by lack of funding. If there is no concerted effort, we are in danger of missing Goal 14 and 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Goal 14 and 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals are Life below water and Life on Land.
Malaysia has instituted policies and governance to protected and conserve its rich heritage, at the forefront is the National Policy for Biodiversity 2016 – 2025. In the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM100 million has been allocated for reforestation, 63 marine protected areas, increase from 10.76% to 12.1% in terrestrial areas and being an active partner in international transboundary conservation efforts such as Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle initiatives for Marine Areas.
Stefan added, “As a long-term development partner to Malaysia, UNDP strongly supports the country’s efforts to pursue sustainable development in Protected Areas. The UNDP’s Protected Areas Financing project is to establish effective and robust management system. The project is being developed through a performance-based financing structure in partnership with the government of Malaysia and funded by the Global Environment Facility.
Once the project has been completed, it will have created a sustainable, inclusive and innovative solution to ensure zero financing gaps for Protected Areas in spearheading the establishment of the National Conservation Trust Fund in Malaysia.”
The Protected Areas Financing Project is a national project executed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and implemented by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Malaysia. The project works with stakeholders at federal, state and site levels. At the Federal level, the Project is assisting the federal government in establishing a National Protected Area Framework to strengthen the institutional capacities of PA management agencies and develop a sustainable ﬁnancing system to support more eﬀective protected area management nationwide.
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