Tawau, 10 July 2019 – More than 70 delegates from Sabah and Sarawak participated in the 6th Environment Protection Department Sabah (EPD) – Natural Resources and Environment Board Sarawak (NREB) Environmental Dialogue in Tawau from 7-9 July 2019. This Dialogue is organised biennially and hosted alternately by both EPD and NREB.

This year, the Dialogue was organised under the leadership of EPD Director, Mr. Vitalis Justin Moduying with the support of Controller of Natural Resources & Environment Board (NREB) Sarawak Mr. Justine Jok Jau Emang.

The Dialogue was launched on 8 July 2019 in Tawau Hills Park by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah, Tuan William Baya, who represented Yang Berhormat Datuk Christina Liew, Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah.

In her speech which was read by the Permanent Secretary, YB Datuk Christina emphasised on the importance of protecting the environment and natural resources because a healthy environment is the foundation and pillar to the sustainability of Sabah whereby multitude opportunities in socio-economic activities are made possible, including tourism. She also added that development activities should be carried out in a controlled and proper manner adhering to environmental conditions and mitigation measures stipulated by both EPD and NREB in the respective states.

Datuk Christina also stated that Sabah and Sarawak are not spared from escalating environmental issues. However, she added that these issues could be addressed strategically through good governance.

“Implementation of holistic environmental policy will enhance environmental assessment system, enforcement of law, technological innovations, formulation of environmental management plans, adaptation to best practices approach, as well as participation of communities to encourage people’s acts of stewardship towards the environment,” YB Datuk Christina Liew stated.

She stated that the theme of the dialogue “Holistic Environmental Management for Sustainable Living” is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals which are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. Amongst the 17 goals are good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, life below water and life on land. She highlighted the Sabah State Policy on the Environment which states “Sabah recognises that maintaining a healthy environment based on clean air, healthy rivers, vibrant forests, productive land, bountiful seas, and cohesive communities significantly contributes to the prosperity of the State and its people”.

EPD new website www.epd.sabah.gov.my was also launched during the Dialogue which is more friendly, responsive and informative. It is a new platform as one of EPD’s approaches to reach out to the public.

Apart from the Dialogue, the delegates also participated in team-building and outdoor activities such as hiking in Tawau Hills Park.

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