Sabah’s invaluable experiences could provide the needed synergy for Prince Charles charities in addressing the issue of fast tracking funds to tropical forest nations for immediate implementation.
This likelihood was broached at the WWF Global Forest Trade Network (GFTN) Anniversary Forum at St James’ Palace State Apartments, here, on Sept. 8.
At the occasion, the Prince of Wales raised concern over the untimely disbursement of funds to rainforest nations to address many forest and climate issues.
Charles stressed the need from all for a concerted effort on sustaining, nurturing and protecting the earth’s natural capital and moreover “reshaping our economic system so that nature sits at the heart of our thinking”.
It was also a historic moment for the Sabah Forestry Department when its Director, Datuk Sam Mannan, was invited by Charles to present a keynote address on “Good Forest Governance and Conservation in Sabah – The Long Journey of Redemption” at the forum.
In his address, Mannan touched on forest governance and conservation in Sabah, including the importance of political will and support in advancing Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), the need to raise standards in forest practices and certification, engaging wider stakeholder participation to better institutionalise forest management, and the dire need to increase the economic returns from the forests.
Mannan urged support and recognition for many of the efforts being undertaken in championing SFM in a small state like Sabah, especially during the timber famine period currently experienced by the State.
He also reiterated the urgency for concerted efforts to raise real and significant incomes from the rainforests for its security and sanctity in the long-run. He strongly advocated that “Love Alone Will Not Protect It”.
Charles and Mannan discussed further the challenges in maintaining Sabah’s forests over tea and took the opportunity to invite Charles to Sabah to witness the SFM conservation work undertaken there.
The Forestry Department is currently in talks with the Prince’s Charities International Sustainability Unity and WWF on the way forward to put many of the recommendations into action.
The forum also witnessed the Prince of Wales taking over the helm as the new President of WWF UK succeeding his cousin, Princess Alexandra.