Cabinet to consider proposed Malaysia Biodiversity Centre

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said this was aimed at improving biodiversity management in the country and realising the establishment of the Natural History Museum Malaysia. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): The inaugural meeting of the National Biodiversity Council (MBN1) has agreed that the proposed formation of the Malaysia Biodiversity Centre (MBC) be referred to the Cabinet for its consideration, said Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

The deputy prime minister said this was aimed at improving biodiversity management in the country and realising the establishment of the Natural History Museum Malaysia.

“This will be discussed further with inputs taken from state governments and ministries on the direction for its establishment.

“MBN1 also discussed issues related to human-wildlife conflicts in Peninsular Malaysia, proposed conservation efforts for the Gelam tree species, implementation of access and benefit sharing in Sabah, and the Reef Ball project in Sarawak,” he told a press conference in Parliament Building after chairing the meeting here today.

Fadillah, who is also Plantation and Commodities Minister, said the meeting stressed the importance of making biodiversity management a mainstream endeavour through a whole-of-nation approach involving the national, state and community levels.

He said federal ministers and deputy ministers, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow were among those who attended the meeting, the main platform for the state and federal governments to discuss national biodiversity direction and strategy.

He said three Consideration Papers and four Information Papers on biodiversity conservation initiatives in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak were presented, and MBN1 agreed with the National Biodiversity Council Terms of Reference and the streamlining of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework into the National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016-2025

Asked on a claim by non-governmental organisation RimbaWatch that more than 2.3 million hectares of forests had been earmarked for felling, Fadillah said the minister concerned would give a detailed reply on this.

“Our commitment is to ensure that we can preserve more than 50 per cent of forests. Even now we have more than that.

“If you look at what is happening now, the commitment at the state government level is also not to undertake deforestation for cultivation, especially commodities. For example, for oil palm we are limiting to a maximum of 6.5 million hectares throughout the country. Now, the cultivation covers only 5.8 million hectares,” he added.

Earlier, he launched the Central Forest Spine Ecological Network Master Plan (PIRECFS) to link, maintain, and preserve and conserve divided forest areas in Peninisular Malaysia in the Central Forest Spine (CFS) area. – Bernama

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