Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) reiterated its commitment towards the sustainability agenda with another commendable initiative, this time with the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD).
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SFD was signed to explore the possibility of collaborating with each other with respect to the rehabilitation of riparian and forest buffer zone which lies between the forest reserve and FGV estate in Sahabat, Sabah.
Representing FGV, Head of Plantation Zone 2, Mr. Alberto Domingo and Director of SFD, Datuk Sam Mannan, signed the MoU during the launch of the 2016 International Conference on Heart of Borneo ‘Enabling and Empowering Conservation through Science-Policy Interface, Conservation Finance & Community Engagement’.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman. This effort aims create awareness on importance of wildlife and environment conservation, particularly on riparian zone.
The two-year project is a partnership to maintain the riparian reserve, buffer zones and to replant mangrove trees in the area in line with FGV’s pledge to conserve the natural environment. The riparian buffer zone is defined as the interface between the uplands and the river bank.
“The Forestry Department welcomes any such collaboration especially on forest restoration, and FGV’s involvement in restoring the riparian buffer zones is timely, as such critical areas have long been overlooked for its importance in wildlife conservation,” Datuk Sam said.
FGV Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Zakaria Arshad said this project is testament that FGV is steadfast in its drive to be a socially responsible agribusiness. This is FGV’s second initiative to conserve the riparian buffer zones in Sabah.
“The collaboration between FGV and SFD aims to contribute to sustainable plantation management, support the implementation of RSPO Principles and Criteria and improve the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscape.
This is a huge step taken to ensure the survival of the wildlife nearby our operation areas. We are also committed to provide a sustainable alternative livelihood for the local communities along the river,” he added.
Other than re-establishing and restoring the riparian buffer zones especially along the river Tabin and Kuala Meruap Mangrove Forest Reserve, FGV together with SFD will jointly combat any form of illegal hunting in the area.
By creating an awareness of the riparian zone best management practices, project intends to encourage the local community especially in Tambisan, Tungku and Lahad Datu to support in maintaining this sensitive and priceless ecosystem.
The collaboration will also form a collaborative boundary management between SFD forest reserve and FGV estates to prevent any form of threat either manmade, disease or fire and sharing of information related to water management and technical advice on forest management, research and development as well as data on forest reserve in Sabah.
In Oct 2014, FGV launched a demarcation exercise to re-establish the riparian reserve in its Sabah estates, creating a minimum distance of 50 metres between the plantation and the river bank culminating in a tree planting programme to secure the mega biodiversity of Lower Kinabatangan.
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