Background

Executive Summary

1.1 Background
1.2 Inputs

1.2.1 Malaysian Inputs
1.2.2 Japanese Inputs

1.3 Progress and Achievements

1.3.1 Monitoring and Management systems
1.3.2 Research and Education
1.3.3 Park Management
1.3.4 Habitat Management
1.3.5 Public Awareness
1.3.6 Integration for Comprehensive Conservation
1.3.7 Publicity

1.4 Challenges


1.1. Background

The "Bornean Bioddiversity and Ecosystems Conservation (BBEC) Progamme in Sabah, Malaysia" is a joint endeavor of nine organizations of the Sabah State Government (SSG), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of the Japanese Government.

To achieve the purpose that is "Comprehensive and sustainable conservation approaches of biodiversity and ecosystems are established," the BBEC Programme has been implemented since February 2002 and will be on until January 2007, a period of five years. The BBEC Programme is operated based on the framework and programme design agreed in October 2001. These were the results of 16 workshops and over 20 meetings conducted in seven places in Sabah and participated by over 300 people during the preparatory period of one and a half years.

Four components from the BBEC Programme. They are namely, Research & Education, Park Management, Habitat Management and Public Awareness Components. The ten Malaysian implementing organizations, together with JICA, seek effectivenessand efficiency for conservation by integrating their efforts through these four projects under the same programme. The BBEC Programme has five projects sites: Crocker Range Park, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and around, Maliau Basin Forest Reserve, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and Kulamba Wildlife Reserve.

The BBEC Programme is supervised and managed by its Programme Steering Committee (PgSC) consisting of 13 representatives from federal and Sabah State Government, and Japanese Advisors. The State Secretary of Sabah takes the chairmanship of the PgSC. Its four components are managed and implemented by the respective Working Groups (WGs) whose members vary in each and its participated by several different agencies and NGOs.

The Chief Minister of Sabah officially launched the BBEC Programme on 25 March 2002 and a series of seminars conducted on 25-26 March at UMS immediately followed. The annual plan of operation for April 2002 - March 2003 was prepared by the 4 working groups and endorsed by the PgSC in April 2002.

This report describes the progress of the BBEC programme from its commencement till the end of March 2003.

1.2 Inputs

1.2.1 Malaysian Inputs

The four components created and built the institutions to proceedand execute the activities with BBEC framework and mechanism.The leading agencies of the four components have assigned their respective staff to be in charge of BBEC activities as counterparts of JICA dispatched advisors.

A total 84 officials and researchers of the Sabah State Goverment agencies and UMS have been involved in planning, implementing and reviewing the BBEC Programme together with the Japanese.This figure excludes the PgSC members and the participants of the workshops conducted by the non-implementing agencies of BBEC.There mybe double counting of the personnel working for more than one component.46 administrative staff are supporting the BBEC programme.

There are more Sabah State agencies which collaborate with or are willing to participate in the BBEC Programme.The move is welcomed since integration of ythe efforts of many governmental agencies toward more effective nature conservation is BBEC's principle.However,listing them as an implementing organization of BBEC is yet to be agreed on by the Japanese Government,since it requires an amendment of the cooperation framework.

The Malaysian side spent approximately the sum of RM 415,000 for operating cost until March 2003.

1.2.2 Japanese Inputs

JICA dispatched and assigned to the BBEC Programme a total of 17 Japanese experts till March 2003. They include the Chief Advisor and the Programme Coordinator who have been assisting in the overall planning, management, monitoring and administrtion, along with 6 long-term technical advisors (those who serve more than one year) in the fields of Inventory & Museum Management, Systematic Biology, Park Management Planning, Community Participation, Wildlife Habitat Management and Environmental Education, and nice short-term Experts (those who serve less than one year) in Wildlife Habitat Study, Zoology (Mammal), Herpetology, Entomology (butterfly), Botany (lower plant), GIS nad DNA Analysis, Environmental Communication and Participatory Monitoring.

JICA sponsored a total of 13 Malaysians' visits to Japan to study its nature conservation practices. Under the counterpart training scheme, three senior officials and four field officers observed and learned the policies, administration systems and technologies applied for biodiversity conservation in Japan. Four Sabah State officials, one researcher of UMS and a journalist have visited Japan for the group training course on "Terrestrial Natural Environment Management" for six weeks during November ~ December 2002.

Equipment value approximately RM6 million including an electron microscope, geographic information systems (GIS), a specimen storing system, field survey equipment, computers, 4WD vehicles and others were procured by JICA and have been donated to the implementing organizations for the use of BBEC activities. JICA is going to support the development of a common database software and data-sharing network in Sabah.

JICA has contributed RM1.6 million to support operations such as workshops, training courses, seminars, field surveys, publications and construction of Inobong Visitor Centre, Mahua Visitor Centre and the Keningau Nature Centre of Crocker Range Park.

1.3 Progresses and Achievement

1.3.1 Monitoring & Management Systems

The BBEC Programme has produced four progress reports including this one. The Programme Steering Committee (PgSC) has met four times since F ebruary 2002 till March 2003. It reviewed and endorsed the plans and reports presented by the four components. The Secretariats coordinated and compiled the reports.

The Component Heads Meetings (CHM) consisting of the heads of four working groups and/or their deputies and the Japanese advisors were held for 11 times till March 2003 to discuss and adopt the monitoring mechanism and methods, to coordinate teh operations of four components and to draft the progress reports.

Efficient monitoring of its progress is very essential for the successful management of a large scale programme such as BBEC whose activities encompass so many areas, involving a number of people from many organizations and costing relatively big amount. The BBEC Programme has adopted and is fully utilizing the Japanese Project Cycle Monitoring (JPCM) method. It uses the Project Design Matrix (PDM), Plan of Operation (PO) for the five year cooperation period, Annual Plan of Operation (APO) and monitoring sheets as planning and monitoring tools. The CHM had revised and developed the APO and monitoring sheet to meet the complexity and management needs of the BBEC Programme.

In March 2003, the BBEC members joined a series of workshops, learned and exercised the participatory monitoring method to evaluate their previous year's conducts. The Programme Design Matrix (PgDM), PDMs and POs were then modified. Based on the new POs, APOs for the next programme period, i.e. April 2003 - March 2004 have been drawn as seen attached in this report.

The BBEC Programme has been well planned, monitored and coordinated. It is continuing to prove that to manage comprehensive nature conservation by integrating the efforts of many organizations is possible.

1.3.2 Research & Education

A research protocol was established. The biodiversity, ecosystems and socio-economy related to conservation in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and Crocker Range Park were studied through two joint scientific expeditions. Japanese methodologies on specimen collection and inventory were introduced. The findings will be added to the biological inventory and collection, and are being prepared for publication.

ITBC, UMS is now equipped with a sophisticated specimen storage system and laboratories with Scanning Electron Microscope and DNA analyses apparatus. To build capacity in operating the laboratories, workshops on operation and maintenance were conducted. It will continue to gear up utilizing these apparatus for more various advanced researches and for the services to the state agencies.

Publications on specimen collection & inventory, collection database management, research catalogue, together with some other reports and lecture notes were produced.

The development of a uniformed database on specimen collection management and its networking among ITBC (UMS), Forest Research Centre (Forestry Department) and Sabah Parks Museum at the Mt. Kinabalu Park was finally accorded as the result of several workshops held since July 2003. Development of the common database application and data-sharing system in Sabah is in progress, as a major contribution in Southeast Asia.

1.3.3 Park Management

The biological and socio-economic situation of Crocker Range Park has become more understood after a number of field surveys. Priority in managing the park such as water catchment area, biodiversity and ecosystems, providing recreation for city people, etc. has been made clearer. The study of mammals in Crocker Range Park is now published as a field guide and identification keys.

Most of the equipment provided to this component are necessary for field surveys and management. Sabah Parks' HQs and Crocker Range Park (CRP) are graded up with the latest GIS and field survey equipment. The GIS training courses were conducted with participants from several agencies. The GIS maps and satellite images of CRP were developed and published in a book.

The Visitor Centres in Inobong and Mahua at Crocker Range Park have been constructed. The Inobong Centre was officially launched and opened in January 2003. The facilities will strengthen enforcement, research and environmental education. An attempt to involve the local communities for conserving CRP has started at the eco-tourism workshop with the participation of villagers at the Inobong Centre.

The importance of CRP as a water catchment area for a big population became well recognized by the government officials and the public at the workshop on water resource management of CRP. Its proceeding was published. During a workshop on zoning CRP, very active discussions on the proposal by Sabah Parks staff and JICA advisors were held. It was the first time in Sabah's National Parks that ideas on traditional use of zones inside the park and the buffer zones outside the park were discussed in a such gathering.

This component has acquired strong support with the active participation of the district offices related to CRP. Collaboration with new agencies such as DID, Tourism and Land & Survey have been pursued in various workshops. The capacities of ranges of Sabah Parks and other implementing agencies have been graded up in two training courses.

Drafting the management plan for CRP together with the social and biological studies and facility development is moving at a sound pace.

1.3.4 Habitat Management

The Habitat Management Component pursued its surveys in Lower Segama area connecting the northern part of Tabin and southern area of Kulamba Wildlife Reserve. An aerial survey and riverine surveys by boats found that an important wildlife habitat exists in an area around Lower Segama River where Segama River meets Sg. Tabin and Sg. Dagat, and require protection. A checklist of mammals in the area was prepared. Proboscis monkeys, elephant and tembadau have been selected tentatively as the key species.

A proposal to protect Lower Segama was drawn up and submitted to the Minister of Tourism, Environment, Science & Technology in February 2003, and is waiting for an endorsement by the cabinet.

As the proposal is likely to be accepted, the PDM of Habitat Management Component was drastically revised in the workshop in March 2003. Management of the area will be given higher priority against monitoring of the three key species and identification of their habitats.

Drafting the management plan of the protected area by involving the traditional villages and the plantation estates is the challenge of this component in the next period.

1.3.5 Public Awareness

Exhibitions and environment education for the local communities and city students have been conducted in conjunction with the scientific expeditions in Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary and Crocker Range Park.

Understanding more systematically the Sabahan's concepts and awareness on nature conservation is being vamped up through a series of social surveys and a study of past environmental campaigns. The recent public awareness campaigns in Sabah have been reviewed and studied to identify their pros and cons. Recommendations were drawn for more effective methods of campaigns to attain the public awareness on nature conservation. The report was published in March 2003.

Pre-tests of the baseline survey on nature conservation awareness continued and the survey method has been evaluated.

Capacity building of the implementing organizations is being developed. The working group of this component has met frequently and it carried out workshops to identify target groups and effective methods of conservation campaigns.

1.3.6 Integration for Comprehensive Conservation

The Component Heads Meeting (CHM) is playing a very important role and function to coordinate not only the activities under the BBEC Programme but also other nature conservation projects.

Standardization and integration in the setting up of systems and operating capacity of GIS have been sought through training courses and workshops for Sabah Parks, UMS, Wildlife Department Basic GIS maps of five project sites were developed and compiled into a book. A development manual on GIS for nature conservation use was also printed.

The international conference in February 2003 that gathered some 140 participants was successfully organized and conducted as a joint effort of the BBEC member organizations. The concept and spirit of comprehensive conservation of biodiversity were well presented in the programme and in the presentation of the speakers.

After the participatory monitoring workshops, the CHM decided to adopt the three activities to be worked out for integration, namely; sharing of facilities and human resources, networking for information sharing, and training coordination.

1.3.7 Publicity

The BBEC website in English was established in June 2002. Two issues of the BBEC Newsletter have been published and the BBEC pamphlet cum folder was printed in English and Malay and later distributed in seminars and workshops. The BBEC logo was selected after a contest and is being used in all the BBEC publications and communications.

The BBEC International Conference in February 2003 was well covered by t he media and made the BBEC Programme and the efforts of participating agencies known to many Sabahans and Malaysian citizens.

A total of 11 text books, guidbooks, proceedings etc. have been published as references.

Malaysian media has covered the BBEC Programme nearly 60 times on TV, radio, newspaper and newsletters in English, Malay and other local languages, and some articles have appeared in Japanese. Local newspapers highlight the articles on BBEC together with its logo.

1.4 Challenges

The BBEC Programme has gone through its first year of operation with notable amount of achievement. BBEC members continue to strive forward t o prove their capability in handling more effective and efficient biodiversity conservation by integration.

As the Programme proceeded at a relatively fast pace with a series of activities, coordination among the 4 leading agencies, communication with and participation of other implementing organizations, and collaboration with non-member agencies and NGOs are becoming a real challenge for BBEC. Although there is a good number of personnel who implement activities, the number of staff that take care of daily routine works is not sufficient as the roles expanded. Especially, this is true for the heads of components and secretariats.

Integrating the capacities of involved agencies was tested and its effectiveness was observed especially during the BBEC International Conference 2003 and the Participatory Monitoring Workshops.

The Integration of scattered efforts of various agencies for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation through participatory procedure and the transparency of planning, implementation and monitoring is proving its effectiveness. In its second year, BBEC is challenged to show more of what we are gaining from what we are doing.

     

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